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.


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