How difficult are simulations? Very! They never seem to really reflect reality but then I don’t think that is the point. I know this now having been involved in a cyber-simulation predicated on a sustained and organised attack on the ICT systems of a number of the Local Resilience Forum partners. It was held at the regional Fire and Rescue offices in Belmont and there were at least sixty of us there.
Cyber-crime is a big deal. It is something that raises its head every day. It is something that is constantly in my thoughts and on my lips and it is something which is growing in strategic significance. It is good to see the region getting behind such an event and supports a general realisation that this is something that will happen and it will affect many of us. It is no longer if but when.
This was a first for me. I’ve been involved in many business continuity events, some planned and others, unfortunately, less so, yet this is the first time that I have been involved in such work outside the confines of my own organisation. It was interesting to come up against the different cultures of the people I was working with. The police and fire people were quite regimented, dressed in uniform and talked the language of command and control. The health people were much more focussed on the care side and the different layers of care. I hadn’t realised how relatively relaxed working for the council is.
There were things that didn’t work too well, that was inevitable, yet the event was very worthwhile. I got to think about some of the issues we had been talking about within the North East ICT Managers group about linking networks to provide alternative paths out to the internet and how having different WiFi log in approaches is a right faff. That’s another thing we’ve covered in NEICT.
The important thing is not to simulate reality but to learn from the experience. The event certainly did that for me.
A gold star!