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PwC launches ‘Game of Threats’ interactive cyber breach challenge for senior executives

by Brian Sims

With nearly three quarters of UK CEOs regarding cyber security as one of the top three risks to their organisations, along with over-regulation and geopolitical uncertainty, it’s clear that increasing cyber threats and the number of recent public breaches is moving cyber security up the list of top business priorities. If systems were breached and time ticking on, though, would Boards of Directors and leadership teams be ready to respond?

PwC’s Game of Threats – an interactive cyber breach simulation designed for senior executives – has been launched in the UK. The head-to-head digital card game pits teams of attackers against defenders and is specifically designed to simulate the experience that leadership teams could realistically face in the midst of a cyber attack.

The game was developed by PwC based on experience of real life cyber attacks that have been confronted by some of the company’s myriad clients. Designed to be a non-technical introduction to cyber security, the game sees each team interact with a tablet controller and choose from a number of attack or response cards in order to play.

Through 12 rounds of quick, high-impact decision-making, players face similar pressures that would be experienced during a real cyber attack. For their part, senior executives are given the chance to explore various strategies and familiarise themselves with cyber terminology, while also seeing the impact of their moves in real-time and facing constraints on time, resources and information.

Run as part of a Workshop and education session with PwC’s cyber security experts, Game of Threats helps leadership teams assess and enhance their readiness for cyber incidents, covering how to identify potential threat actors that may target an organisation and the tactics they may use, explore how secure an organisation is against threat actors, recognise the reputational, financial and regulatory impacts of cyber attacks and breach response, understand the potential ramifications and remediation options during and after an attack, understand what can be done to prevent an attack and also learn key cyber security trends and terminology.

Leadership and engagement

Alex Petsopoulos, cyber security partner at PwC, said: “Cyber security requires leadership and engagement from the very top of a business. It’s no longer merely a topic for IT. Game of Threats is intended to raise awareness among business leaders of the real and increasing nature of cyber threats. The Workshop challenges clients to answer questions about how they would cope in a real situation, educating a senior leadership team on current cyber issues, crisis decision-making and associated communications techniques.”

PwC moderators provide a detailed summary of each game, reviewing both teams’ strategies, actions and missed opportunities to prevent – or succeed in executing – a cyber security breach. The moderators also discuss how the game could relate back to the real life security posture and risks facing the client’s organisation, in turn providing real and practical value to executives.

Christian Arndt, cyber security director at PwC, concluded: “The Workshop allows participants to develop a better knowledge of the threat actors, tools and techniques which could threaten their systems and data. We then help players consider how best to prevent, detect and defend against such threats. We’ve already taken some of the UK’s largest businesses through the game, tailoring it to best reflect their individual situation and risk profile. Game of Threats has helped these businesses gain a better understanding of the cyber threats they face, and serves as a good test of the efficacy of their current cyber security strategy.”

*Should you wish to learn more about Game of Threats or organise a Workshop for your organisation, send an e-mail to: game.of.threats@uk.pwc.com

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