Cyber Exercises: A Tool to Build Trust

Quick communication is essential in a cyber crisis. It can be incredibly difficult to achieve this at the national level where roles and responsibilities for crisis coordination are often split between government agencies, private sector operators and military bodies. The war in Ukraine has demonstrated that resilience and defence can be achieved when civil and commercial actors are seen as partners, which requires trust and understanding.

This workshop will explore how nations can embrace and enhance cyber exercises to build trust between key stakeholders in cyber defence and national security. This will involve exploring the barriers to effective responses to cyber crises. The first section of the workshop will pilot a strategic-level table-top exercise that allows participants to play out an unfolding cyber crisis scenario and invites them to test their decision-making skills and resource allocation to mitigate a cyber threat successfully. Invited experts will then offer insights on building a trusted ecosystem of actors for national cyber defence, followed by all participants having an opportunity to weigh in on national trust-building.

The workshop is open to all CyCon participants but we advise that registrants have some existing knowledge of or active interest in cyber exercises and national cyber crisis coordination.

Previous workshops in this series have focused on cyber exercises across NATO:
CyCon 2022 workshop summary report NATO Cyberspace Exercises: Moving Ahead
CyCon 2021 workshop summary report Cyber Exercises: A Vision for NATO and interim paper Trust in Cyber Exercises: A Vision for NATO

Facilitated by: Peter Barrett, Carnegie Mellon University; Peadar Charles Callaghan, Tallinn University; Dr Amy Ertan, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO Headquarters; Aurimas Kuprys; NATO CCDCOE; Toby Meyer, Carnegie Mellon University and Alan Sewell, Swedish Defence University.

Please note that anonymized notes will be taken throughout the workshop and may be used to inform future workshops, game design and publications. The game as developed will be available to participants and for use in the future.