UK cyber security agency creates online tool for firms amid rise in home working

An online exercise allowing businesses and home workers to roleplay being the subject of a cyber attack to test their defences has been released by the UK’s cyber security agency.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched the tool to help small businesses test the resilience of their firms while their staff work remotely.

It comes as millions of workers continue to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, and has been designed to help workers reduce the risk of data compromises while working away from the office.

The exercise focuses on three key areas, teaching staff how they can safely access networks from home, which services might be needed for secure collaboration and what processes need to be in place to manage a cyber attack remotely.

The NCSC has previously published guidance on safe home working during the pandemic, including tips on securely setting up video conferencing software.

The new online roleplay is the latest in the existing Exercise in a Box toolkit aimed at businesses wanting to test their cyber security.

Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for economy and society engagement, said: “We know that businesses want to do all they can to keep themselves and their staff safe while home working continues, and using Exercise in a Box is an excellent way to do that.

“While cyber security can feel daunting, it doesn’t have to be, and the feedback we have had from our exercises is that they’re fun as well as informative.

“I would urge business leaders to treat Exercise in a Box in the same way they do their regular fire drills – doing so will help reduce the chances of falling victim to future cyber attacks.”