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Executive Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercise

Tabletop Exercises focussed on Enhanced Executive Response to Cyber Incidents


Building Executive Muscle Memory and Enhancing Executive Decision-Making through Tabletop Exercises 
Background Information

Executive Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercises

Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercises are designed to test if your organisation's Incident Response capabilities are up to scratch. In a simulated cyber security drill scenario, you'll be able to see how well your key Incident Response stakeholders will handle and respond to a real attack situation.

The Executive Tabletop, specifically, is a litmus test of C-suite cybersecurity readiness. It is meant to gauge and enhance the readiness of executives in confronting cyber threats head-on. Ensuring cybersecurity readiness for the C-suite, these tabletop exercises serve as cyber incident response practice for executives and boost cybersecurity leadership within your business. The executives' ability to interpret the cyber landscape, make informed decisions, and communicate effectively are pivotal traits that are honed through these exercises. 

The cyber security drills for executives have been curated keeping in mind the fact that the Board of Directors, Senior Management and the C-suite typically have very little time on their hands. Therefore, we ensure that the Executive Tabletop is less time consuming but also packs in all the relevant information and evaluations for them in a brief format.

Some of the salient features of our Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercises for Executives are as follows: 

  • Industry-specific tabletop exercises especially designed for Business Executives and Boards of Directors. 
  • Bolster executive involvement in cybersecurity. Help them understand the real threats and risks to their specific organisation and industry. 
  • Senior management tabletop exercises centre on business and sector-relevant challenges only. 
  • Keep a razor sharp focus on executive roles and responsibilities during a cyber-attack. Help them become familiar with the Cyber Incident Response Plan.
  • Focussed on effective Executive Decision-Making, the Cyber Drills clarify what actions or decisions they are expected to make during a cyber event to mitigate damage and remain compliant with regulatory obligations applicable to their business.

While the onus of managing cybersecurity and cyber incidents is usually on the Technical and Incident Response teams, it is important to remember that the executive function plays a very major role during an actual cyber event. Effective decision-making for executives is a key skill that can be built over time through practice. Our Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercises for Executives play a vital role in this skill-building endeavour, preparing executives for cybersecurity challenges.  

Find out more about our different categories of Cyber Tabletop Exercise and Cyber Tabletop Exercise Pricing

The Executive Report: Evaluating Executive Tabletop Exercise Outcomes

We produce an executive report for every tabletop exercise we conduct. The report contains: 

  • An executive overview of the Executive tabletop session.
  • A professional summary of our key observations and takeaways
  • Our professional opinion on the executive's overall readiness to deal with a cyber attack, ransomware attack or data breach.
  • Recommendations on areas of improvement the management needs to focus on. 

The audience or ideal participants for the Executive Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercise typically belong to the following roles: 

  • CEO, Chairpersons, Executive Directors, Board of Directors
  • Heads of Marketing, Sales, Human Resources
  • Legal Counsel/Head
  • Head/Director of Public Relations and Communications 

Benefits of Conducting an Executive Cyber Tabletop Exercise

Executive Involvement in Cybersecurity

In many cases, the Board of Directors or Business Executives aren't familiar at all with the threat landscape their business operates in. The well-researched and thoughtfully designed scenario in our Executive Tabletop Exercise allows them to truly fathom how serious an attack on their business could be and how fatally it could damage the two things they work round the year for - the bottom line and the business reputation.  

Decision-Making Practice for the Executive

The primary goal that a cybersecurity drill for executives achieves is decision-making practice. The tabletop exercise gives senior management the chance to build muscle memory for the Incident Response Plan and enhance their cybersecurity leadership & response. The Executive CCTE allows them to see for themselves how much more work they need to do and what executive actions they'll need to be ready with in the event of an attack. 

Improved Response & Focus on Compliance

If there is one thing that Senior Management really needs to focus on during a Cyber Attack, it is the regulatory obligations that they need to fulfill. The Executive Tabletop Exercise helps them understand what data breach rules and regulations apply to their business. It also clarifies what steps they must take in the immediate aftermath of a cyber-attack to prevent hefty fines and/or damage to the business image. 

Enhanced Collaboration & Better Synergy with the IT team

It's not uncommon for IT teams to feel like all the burden of keeping the business secure is on them. They also often struggle to explain the business threats, risks or budgetary requirements to the Management. An Executive Tabletop Exercise helps bridge this gap. It allows the senior management to understand where exactly the business cybersecurity stands and in what ways they must support the IT team to enhance business resilience.   

Brief and Interactive

Time is a rare commodity for the Executive and we fully understand that. This exclusive Executive Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercise has been specially designed to be brief, to-the-point and succinct. We ensure that the scenario is one where the Senior Management action is critical. We keep the session non-technical, interactive and extremely focussed. 

Strategies to Boost Cyber Leadership

The Executive Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercise is targetted at a non-technical, business audience. Thus, the recommendations shared in the Executive Summary also follow the same theme. We share simple, tactical strategies that the participants can embrace in their individual roles to improve the overall executive decision-making during a cyber crisis. 

What Makes Our Executive Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercises Unique?

The exclusive Executive Cyber Crisis Tabletop Exercise designed by Cyber Management Alliance aims to test executive decision-making through a realistic scenario. The idea is to empower the executive with as much information about their cybersecurity posture in as compact a format as possible. 

Some of the questions that the Cyber Attack Drill will help the Executive team answer are as follows:

  • Is the Incident Response Plan actually effective in a real-world attack scenario?
  • When the organisation is under attack, who is responsible for communicating the status of the compromise, the backups and who will control the damage?
  • How will the team communicate during an attack, especially if it occurs during off-hours?
  • Is the internal Incident Response infrastructure sufficient or will the business have to enlist the help of specialised external Incident Response retainers?  
  • What are the legal/regulatory requirements for notification and who is in-charge of these notifications?
  • Does the organisation have a cyber insurance provider? Who will reach out to the provider for guidance?
  • How will the organisation communicate about the attack to external stakeholders, clients, customers, the media etc.? Is a ready template available for such communications?
  • Who will communicate with the adversary if the need arises and who will provide the the latest information on negotiations? 

Like every other course and workshop created by Cyber Management Alliance, the Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercises for Executives too is based on the guiding principle of “Keep it Simple!”. Here’s what makes our Executive Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercise especially unique in the market:

Tailored to Executive Needs

Created and designed by a practising CISO, our Executive Tabletop Sessions fully address the needs of the C-Suite, Board of Directors and Business Executives. They are based on realistic scenarios, they are focussed and time-efficient. We leave out all the fluff and focus on what matters most to the Management - how to save the bottom line and business reputation during an actual attack.


Interactive & Relevant

We keep the Executive Tabletop Workshop as short and relevant as possible. 

The exercise is highly engaging and elicits participation from all attendees. It's non-technical, interactive and aims to leave the Executive team with food for thought on how to improve the organisational cyber resilience.    

Build Awareness & Alignment

The primary objective of the Executive Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercise is to raise  cyber awareness of the Senior Management.

The exercise also leads to improved alignment between the Executive and the Technical teams. It ensures better collaboration during an actual cyber event between the two main functions responsible for damage control and improved outcomes for the business overall. 

Why Choose Cyber Management Alliance for Your Executive Cyber Tabletop Exercise?

Cyber Management Alliance is the world leader in Cybersecurity Training & Consultancy. We are amongst the top independent cyber incident & crisis management authorities offering advisory services, executive training, and bespoke workshops in all aspects of cyber crisis management, incident planning, incident-response testing and tabletop exercises. 

We are the creators of the internationally acclaimed UK-Government’s NCSC-Certified,  Cyber Incident Planning and Response (CIPR) course and have trained attendees from organisations including the United Nations, UK Ministry of Defence, several UK Police Forces, NHS Trusts, European Central Bank, Swiss National Bank, Microsoft, Ernst and Young and many others.

Case Studies demonstrate how others have benefited from our Cyber Tabletop Exercises. We have numerous client case studies which demonstrate how these sessions have helped them optimise their handling of cyber incidents. Click the button below to check out some of our Case Studies. 

View Tabletop Case Studies



Read what Clients have to say about our Executive Cyber Table Top Exercises

Mudassar Ulhaq
“The overall objective was to demonstrate & raise awareness amongst the board members. It is a regulatory obligation to ensure that the board are aware of their duties when it comes to incident response & cyber management. It was very important to run this workshop in my opinion."
Mudassar Ulhaq
CIO, Waverton Investment Management
Nadeem Bashir
"Both the technical and executive tabletop sessions conducted by Cyber Management Alliance Ltd met all our objectives. The attendees from both the sessions were impressed with the facilitation and the outcome-driven approach and left the participants more informed and aware of the response processes and procedures.”
Nadeem Bashir
IT Compliance Manager, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd.
Jenny Kray
“We selected Cyber Management Alliance to conduct a non-technical, scenario-based, cyberattack tabletop exercise for members of our senior management. The session and scenarios were relevant to our business and the ransomware tabletop exercise was conducted in a deeply engaging and conducive manner and the session met our objectives.”
Jenny Kray
Chief Finance Officer at Ashling Partners
Kanoksak Keekarjai
“The cyber awareness session was conducted in a way that made the cyber-attack scenario feel real and relevant for the participants. They were encouraged to think like and respond as they would in an actual crisis. The session met our objectives. Amar Singh is an excellent facilitator and is highly experienced which makes his insights useful to all participants. Importantly, Amar knows how to engage a room full of business executives and is able to present highly technical concepts in a nontechnical, easy to understand manner.”
Kanoksak Keekarjai
Head of Global Security, Risk and IT Compliance, SIG Global
Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercises

Professionally Created Cyber Drills for Executives

We are the world leaders in Cyber Crisis Tabletop Exercises. Our workshops are guided and often conducted by the most experienced tabletop facilitator in the world. This adds immense value to our Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercises for Executives. 

Take a look at the video on the right to see what exactly our Cyber Crisis Tabletop Exercises can do for your business:

  • Detailed and bespoke scenario creation.
  • Enhanced engagement of the executive with cybersecurity. 
  • Improved Executive Decision-Making in a crisis. 


FAQs: Cyber Tabletop Exercises for Executives

Why are Cyber Tabletop Exercises important for executives?


Cyber Attack Tabletop Exercises for Executives help them improve their cybersecurity readiness and leadership, directly influencing the overall cyber resilience of the organisation. These exercises facilitate enhanced executive decision-making and therefore improved executive incident response and action. With regular Cyber Tabletop exercises, executives can recognize the weak spots in the current security measures, paving the way for necessary enhancements. Further, these exercises are instrumental in Strengthening Response Strategies. 

How often should executives participate in Cyber Tabletop Exercises?


Given the rapid evolution of cyber threats and the changing business environment, it is recommended that organisations conduct a tabletop exercise for executives at least once a year. This ensures that the organisation's leadership remains up-to-date with current threat landscapes and the potential business implications. However, if there are significant changes to the organisational structure, such as mergers, or major IT overhauls, it may be prudent to conduct additional tabletop exercises. This is also recommended after major global events such as wars or healthcare pandemics.

It is important to remember that cyber attack tabletop exercises for executives must not be viewed as isolated activities and these should be part of a continuous improvement process. 

What are the key components of a successful Cyber Tabletop Exercise?


The main components of a good cyber tabletop exercise for executives are: Designing a Relevant Scenario, Setting Clear Objectives, Choosing the right participants, Hiring a highly experienced external facilitator whom the executives can look up to and take feedback from, Focusing on Decision-Making and Post-Exercise Analysis and Report.

How can executives prepare for Cyber Tabletop Exercises?


It's a good idea for executives to first familiarize themselves with the organisation's current cybersecurity policies, incident response plans, and business continuity strategies. Engaging in pre-exercise briefings can provide context and understanding of the exercise's objectives. Ultimately, entering the exercise with an open mind, a collaborative spirit, and a willingness to actively engage are the most critical. 

How can executives evaluate the effectiveness of Cyber Tabletop Exercises?


The effectiveness of Executive Tabletop Exercises can be gauged by measuring the outcomes against the pre-defined objectives. Executives can determine the effectiveness of the exercise through the insights they've achieved, and the actionable takeaways for enhancing their preparedness against cyber- attacks. If they feel more confident that they'll make the right decisions in the midst of an attack, the exercise has been successful. 

Are there any real-world examples of successful Cyber Tabletop Exercises for Executives?


At Cyber Management Alliance, we have conducted hundreds of Tabletop Exercises for Executives. Take a look at some of our Case Studies here: 

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