ransomware tabletop exercise

It has been reported that the ransomware attackers are threatening industries in several countries. As a cybersecurity threat is continuously affecting top health providers and retailers in the U.S., there is also concern that insurance providers might also be at risk of being attacked as well.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have time and time again recommended against paying ransoms, but we have also seen, last year, Colonial Pipeline caved to the demands of hackers and paid $4.4 million in ransom for a decryption key that restored oil operations.

Interestingly, only 1% of all global governments have a clear set of guidelines and rules on how to deal with ransomware incidents. The Gartner report predicted that by 2025 that number could grow to more than 30%.

Even Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigation Report highlighted how ransomware appeared in 10% of breaches.

Of all malware payloads, 7 out of every 10 were ransomware, which costs businesses more than $75 billion per year. In fact, a new research study from Cybersecurity Ventures shows that more than $250 billion will be lost due to ransomware by 2031.

How to test an organization’s resilience against ransomware attacks?

The recent ransomware attacks have proven the need for business to respond to a ransomware incident. By taking a few minutes out of your week to create a ransomware incident response plan, you will be better prepared should something like this happen.

How to test ransomware readiness and protection defense?

The best protection against ransomware is proactive preparation.

  • The first part of the ransomware tabletop training exercise for employees is designed to start the right conversations and lay down the foundations of ransomware tabletop exercise scenarios for review.
  • The second is a simulated ransomware incident response exercise that is  set up to not only test incident response readiness, but give valuable insight as to what areas of your ransomware incident response checklist  plan can be improved for inevitable future malware incidents.

Consequently, many security professionals are now developing complex strategies that involve beefing up their IT infrastructure’s defenses against digital intruders.

What is a Ransomware Tabletop Exercise? 

Ransomware tabletop exercises are a method that allows you to simulate a real-life ransomware attack situations and how your business would react in such an instance.

Technical and administrative staff who take part in the scenario not just can think about the most effective way to deal with the situation, but also coordinate tasks and responsibilities for data encryption and restoration by role-playing with the technical support team.

Why is ransomware tabletop exercise important?

Businesses can’t protect themselves against a ransomware incident unless they know what to do when it happens.

A good ransomware incident detection and response strategy, activities and security protocols – developed with the input of key stakeholders – at all levels within the organization, is necessary.

To get everyone on the same page and practicing a planned ransomware malware tabletop, stand-alone exercises, like tabletop drills and full-scale rehearsals, are helpful.  

Ransomware tabletop exercise scenarios let you examine specific systems by posing hypothetical Ransomware attack simulations about how an event would unfold so that IT staff can work through concerns and identify any gaps in preparedness.

Periodic exercises of ransomware response and recovery plans are designed to help technical and administrative staff prepare for a ransomware attack and understand their roles, actions and responsibilities if there was a real event. By participating, ransomware tabletop exercise stakeholders will better understand how to respond and recover from a ransomware-based attack scenarios.

In simple terms, full-scale ransomware rehearsals allow staff across different functions to interact in person while preparing for a scenario to occur so they respond quickly and efficiently during an actual Ransomware threat.

Conducting a Ransomware Tabletop Exercise

What are the advantages of Conducting a Ransomware Tabletop Exercise?

What are the six elements of a successful ransomware tabletop exercise execution?

  • Ransomware education and Preparedness
  • A collaborative Learning environment

What are the 14 Key controls of a Ransomware preparedness assessment?

  1. Firewall and network device configuration
  2. Remote Access
  3. Email and Web
  4. Application whitelisting and audit
  5. Endpoint protection
  6. Employee Ransomware awareness and training
  7. Ransomware Incident Response plan
  8. Third party vendor management
  9. Backup and audit logging
  10. Vulnerability and patch management
  11. Access and privilege controls
  12. Email and web filtering
  13. Network and endpoint monitoring
  14. User activity logging and audit configurations

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