The government has launched a new digital toolkit, dubbed “Exercise in a Box”, for small businesses and local authorities, challenging them to use it to test their capabilities and boost their resilience to attack, as it makes a fresh push to engage industry.
The free online tool, designed by the NCSC, includes two sets of exercises: a technical simulation and a “table top discussion”.
Its launch comes a day after government security officials, speaking at the CYBERUK event in Glasgow, vowed to collaborate even more closely with the private sector, and made Industry100 – the initiative which promotes close collaboration between industry and the NCSC – a permanent feature of the UK’s security landscape.
NCSC’s CEO, Ciaran Martin, 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 launch of the free online tool, which requires registration with the NCSC and which is available here, comes a day after GCHQ Director Jeremy Fleming told CYBERUK attendees that the organisation wanted to see greater adoption of the NCSC’s Active Cyber Defence set of programmes.
These include protective DNS, a sophisticated spam filter that has seen the UK’s share of hosted phishing more than halve, and more.
He said: “I would like to encourage businesses in all sectors to work with us to find new ways of incorporating these automated services. And if enough do, the results could be truly transformational – a whole-of-nation, automated cyber defence system.”
“Looking ahead”, he added, “we intend to do more to take the burden of cyber security away from the individual… A fundamental principle of the NCSC has always been to be more open, more transparent with the information we obtain. We’re already doing that and are committed to share even more in real time, to help business and Government defend themselves and the UK.”
“Exercise in a Box was designed to increase resilience by using real-life scenarios and providing tailored guidance, the NCSC said. The first version of the tool has been tested by local government, small businesses and the emergency services.