NCSC launches cyber attack exercise for remote workers

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The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched a new tool which aims to help businesses prepare their staff for the scenario of a cyber attack in the age of mass remote working.

The ‘Home and Remote Working’ exercise is the latest addition to the NCSC’s Exercise in a Box toolkit, which was launched last year in an effort to help SMBs carry out drills for potential cyber attacks.

Just like the other exercises from the toolkit, ‘Home and Remote Working’ provides employees with a realistic scenario and allows them to practise and improve their response in order to ensure that they are prepared despite working from home, often on personal computers and networks.

Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for Economy and Society Engagement, urged 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,” she added. “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.”

Jonathan Miles, head of Strategic Intelligence and Security Research at Mimecast, called the new tool “a fantastic measure”, adding that it “will be welcomed universally as the threat of cyber attack continues to rise”.

“In fact, our State of Email Security shows that 91% of UK organisations believe their organisation volume of web and email spoofing will increase in the coming year, while 59% of UK organisations have observed an increase in phishing attacks over the last year," he said.


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"It’s important that organisations prioritise cyber security, especially at a time where remote working has become the norm and connecting corporate devices via the home router becomes commonplace.

"This provides greater opportunity for malicious actors to infiltrate and obtain sensitive corporate data through unsecured home devices, so it’s important that businesses educate their staff on the tell tales signs of compromise and the benefits of good cyber hygiene practices".

Businesses can sign up for Exercise in a Box or find out more about it on the NCSC’s website.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.