The National Unit SK-CERT of the National Security Authority conducted the first of a series of the National Table-Top exercises on 14 May 2019. The exercise was named “A Suspicious Mail is Just the Beginning”.
The Table-Top exercises are a kind of non-technical exercises focusing on decision-making, as well as practising and testing of own procedures and processes, practising of tasks and responsibilities of individual roles, all in connected with handling of designed cybersecurity incidents. According to the exercise scenario the participants act in fictitious environment with hypothetical events on which they must respond as they would really happen.
Within a series of the National Table-Top exercises there are recognized several levels according to which the exercises are conducted:
- Governmental Level – a high level exercise with the participation of top political and managerial leadership and significant state authorities. The scenario focuses on handling of cybersecurity crisis at national level.
- Providers of Essential Services Level – exercises aimed at management representatives of Providers of Essential Services (regardless of the sector). The scenario is general and adjusted in such a way that any organisation at Providers of Essential Services Level could be affected in a real situation.
- Sector Level – an exercise in which the scenario is targeted on a specific situation in a particular sector, aimed at representatives of Providers of Essential Services of that particular sector.
The first exercise from a series of the National Table-Top exercises was created for the Providers of Essential Services Level. Five Providers of Essential Services with their teams, which consisted of management representatives of respective companies, took part in the exercise.
The exercise was opened by the director of the National Unit SK-CERT Rastislav Janota who welcomed the participants and explained the essential nature of that kind of exercises. Subsequently, the representatives of the National Unit SK-CERT presented the basic terminology and important information which was necessary for a smooth run of the exercise.
The exercise itself was carried on in the form of discussion among particular teams. Participants had to cope with 40 questions divided into 12 events. Each team looked at tasks from different points of view whereas the presenters of the exercise helped individual teams to handle the problems.
At the end of the exercise the presenters evaluated the exercise while the quality of responses and discussion about them were at a very high level. We believe that participants of the exercise have gained positive experience which they may put into practice.