The Cabinet Office has urged public sector organisations to check their cyber security fitness using a new digital tool.
Minister David Lidington (pictured) has highlighted the release of the online tool, named Exercise in a Box, in advance of his speech at the CYBERUK security conference in Glasgow.
It has been designed by experts at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to increase resilience by using real life scenarios and providing tailored guidance.
The Cabinet Office said the first version of the tool has already been tested by some organisations in local government and the emergency services, along with small businesses.
Lidington said: “Improved cyber security is a key part of the Government's plan to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. This new free online tool will be critical in toughening the cyber defences of small businesses, local government, and other public and private sector organisations.”
Exercise in a Box provides scenarios based on common cyber threats facing the UK, which organisations can practice in their own time, in a safe environment, as many times as they want.
It provides two types of exercise – a technical simulation and table top discussion – and enables players to monitor their progress. It also includes a package of bespoke information and support from NCSC technical experts, and has been designed to complement existing cyber security measures including Cyber Essentials and the Small Business Guide.
Ciaran Martin, chief executive officer of the NCSC, said: "The NCSC considers exercising to be one of the most cost-effective ways an organisation can test how it responds to cyber incidents. By practicing your defence and response mechanisms, you can understand how effective they really are and where there are areas for improvement.
“We’re committed to building the UK’s cyber resilience and continuing our work to make the country the hardest possible target for our adversaries.”
The Cabinet Office said that, as the cyber threat landscape evolves, the initiative will be developed to include more complex scenarios.
Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0