Cybersecurity

Tabletop exercises a useful tool in cybersecurity testing

Cyber training. Shutterstock image.

A senior Defense Department official said tabletop exercises are among the most useful tools for cybersecurity testing, evaluation and training.

Peter Christensen, director of the DOD Test Resource Management Center’s National Cyber Range (NCR), said the approach has been highly successful in his experience. Tabletop exercises bring people together to talk through how they would respond to simulated scenarios.

NCR specializes in cybersecurity testing and evaluating, which Christensen said is an important engineering and design tool to reduce technical debt -- or the future cost of fixing vulnerabilities and other problems that were created when software was first developed.

Unfortunately, "there's never enough time to do it right," he added. He made the comments during a presentation at AFEI's Agile in Government Summit on May 11.

Among other lessons, he has learned that focusing on the mission is integral to achieving an agency's cybersecurity objectives. He said understanding the mission risk is vital, and knowing how to evaluate and enhance resiliency also helps.

As for the future, he said DOD is bracing for the Internet of Things. "We need to get a heck of a lot better in how we are testing this," he added, given the huge number of devices that will be interconnected in the next few years.

About the Author

Aisha Chowdhry is a former staff writer for FCW.


Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.