The latest collaboration between the three WARPs in Northern England was a joint Save the Data Cyber Simulation exercise. This in-person Northern WARP event was held in Manchester on 17th January 2023.

The Save the Data cyber-simulation event was run by Rubrik. The Rubrik team led an interactive exercise that involved an immersive format that included role playing, videos, and group discussion. Unlike traditional cyber-simulation exercises, this session focused less on asking participants to make decisions and more on how decisions can affect outcomes through the five stages of the simulation; 

– The discovery
– The recovery
– Sensitive data
– Forensics
– Direct & In-direct costs

In total, twenty five participants from councils, NHS, Police and transport took part in the simulation. The majority of the session participants found the simulation ‘very useful’. In feedback about the session, delegates told us that they appreciated:

– Seeing how quickly the ransomware situation can escalate
– Understanding how culture can affect decisions which can add complexity to the situation
– Experiencing the criticality of time and decision making
– Seeing the harsh realities and processes people go through in the scenario
– Experiencing an event based on a real world example, prompting questions of ‘what-if’ and ‘what-would-we-do?’
– The interactive element of role playing which made the session more immersive
– An exercise for non-ICT staff to understand why and how ICT may not be able to get systems back online as soon as they expect
– A safe and controlled way to experience the worst day of your working life!

The session was predominantly attended by ICT and cyber-professionals. It was agreed that the session would benefit from a mix of broader roles in attendance. Besides Senior ICT managers, other roles that would benefit from a similar session would include, senior business managers from across the organisation (finance, legal, governance, HR), business continuity and civil contingencies colleagues, corporate communications and Senior Executives and Councillors.

The success of this session will mean that it is very likely that the Northern WARP will plan further Save the Data Cyber simulations in the future. WARP members from NW WARP, Y&H WARP and ISNorthEast will be sent dates of future sessions with the option of extending the invitation to broader roles within their organisation. To find out more information about the North West WARP, please visit the website.