Skip to main content

Evocatus Consulting Ltd

How incident response tabletop scenarios can benefit your organisation

By Evocatus
Monday, July 25, 2022

 

How incident response tabletop scenarios can benefit your organisation
Making sure your organisation has what it takes to survive long-term can come down to planning for the unexpected. With each industry and a range of sectors against a number of concerns or potential incidents, learning how to react is critical and can be paramount to your organisation’s resilience.
That’s why organisations with an incident response plan or strategy for turbulent times, ensure an effective response to situations that may catch others off-guard.
Tabletop scenarios test any organisation's incident response or incident response plan and are an important part of development. So how do they work? And are they really that valuable? Let’s take a look at how they can benefit your organisation.
What are tabletop scenarios and why are they important for your organisation?
Tabletop scenarios or tabletop exercises are an informal and discussion-based activity where teams can talk about their roles, responsibilities and potential responses in the event of an incident or emergency. There can be a multitude of example scenarios to walk through with employees and employers, in order to get an incident response or an incident response plan off the page in the staff handbook and make them more tangible.
Trial and error can make an incident response and incident response plan more robust, avoiding critical errors in the heat of a real incident or emergency, such as failing to call the emergency services at the right time or failing to shut off the gas when a leak is identified.
Tabletop scenarios also make it easier to share an incident response plan with the whole organisation, without having to simulate a full scale emergency. As such, organisations are increasingly utilising tabletop scenarios and exercises as part of their incident response training and protocol. Designing an incident response plan is highly beneficial, but tabletop scenarios help you put this plan to the test based on real-world scenarios.
The best tabletop scenarios for your incident response planning goals
To ensure tabletop scenarios are as beneficial as possible, you must first consider which incidents or threats are most likely to happen and how they could play out.
A simple or generic incident response won’t warrant a beneficial team walkthrough. Instead, the scenario needs to involve your employees or team unpacking the organisation’s specific priorities in an incident response. Asking important questions like ‘Is the incident response plan written so anyone can
follow it without requiring additional information?’ is a pertinent part of the process.
Assuming that key employees or senior management will be around to execute an incident response plan is a common mistake. All staff and team members should be just as capable of getting the wheels of an incident response in motion.
With this in mind, all representatives from legal, marketing, sales, customer support and human resources teams need to be involved in any tabletop scenarios. This ensures their expertise is incorporated into the development of future incident response plans and that they are aware of the scenario outcomes.
When choosing an incident to walk through with your team, be sure to create a scenario that tests the stress of your employees in a variety of ways.
Remember, you are testing the capabilities of people and their incident response, not just the incident response plan. Everyone in your team needs to feel comfortable and on-board with the plans. Think of your tabletop scenario as a role-playing game, where everyone needs to understand the part they are playing.
Incident response planning gives your organisation peace of mind
Tabletop scenarios are a safe space for your team to make suggestions, tested and, if necessary, abandoned, without reprimand. This helps to add to the overall purpose of incident response planning, which is to generate confidence and peace of mind when it comes to organisational threats.
From medical emergencies to cyber attacks, each instance spells different consequences for your organisation. By having an effective incident response plan in place, and then testing that plan (to be sure it works), you can reduce the damage and ensure your business is able to survive whatever might be coming your way.
If you need help establishing your organisation’s incident response plan or implementing tabletop scenarios using proven expertise, click here to get in touch with our team today.

How incident response tabletop scenarios can benefit your organisation

Making sure your organisation has what it takes to survive long-term can come down to planning for the unexpected. With each industry and a range of sectors against a number of concerns or potential incidents, learning how to react is critical and can be paramount to your organisation’s resilience.
That’s why organisations with an incident response plan or strategy for turbulent times, ensure an effective response to situations that may catch others off-guard.
Tabletop scenarios test any organisation's incident response or incident response plan and are an important part of development. So how do they work? And are they really that valuable? Let’s take a look at how they can benefit your organisation.

What are tabletop scenarios and why are they important for your organisation?

Tabletop scenarios or tabletop exercises are an informal and discussion-based activity where teams can talk about their roles, responsibilities and potential responses in the event of an incident or emergency. There can be a multitude of example scenarios to walk through with employees and employers, in order to get an incident response or an incident response plan off the page in the staff handbook and make them more tangible.
Trial and error can make an incident response and incident response plan more robust, avoiding critical errors in the heat of a real incident or emergency, such as failing to call the emergency services at the right time or failing to shut off the gas when a leak is identified.
Tabletop scenarios also make it easier to share an incident response plan with the whole organisation, without having to simulate a full scale emergency. As such, organisations are increasingly utilising tabletop scenarios and exercises as part of their incident response training and protocol. Designing an incident response plan is highly beneficial, but tabletop scenarios help you put this plan to the test based on real-world scenarios.

The best tabletop scenarios for your incident response planning goals

To ensure tabletop scenarios are as beneficial as possible, you must first consider which incidents or threats are most likely to happen and how they could play out.
A simple or generic incident response won’t warrant a beneficial team walkthrough. Instead, the scenario needs to involve your employees or team unpacking the organisation’s specific priorities in an incident response. Asking important questions like ‘Is the incident response plan written so anyone can
follow it without requiring additional information?’ is a pertinent part of the process.
Assuming that key employees or senior management will be around to execute an incident response plan is a common mistake. All staff and team members should be just as capable of getting the wheels of an incident response in motion.
With this in mind, all representatives from legal, marketing, sales, customer support and human resources teams need to be involved in any tabletop scenarios. This ensures their expertise is incorporated into the development of future incident response plans and that they are aware of the scenario outcomes.
When choosing an incident to walk through with your team, be sure to create a scenario that tests the stress of your employees in a variety of ways.
Remember, you are testing the capabilities of people and their incident response, not just the incident response plan. Everyone in your team needs to feel comfortable and on-board with the plans. Think of your tabletop scenario as a role-playing game, where everyone needs to understand the part they are playing.

Incident response planning gives your organisation peace of mind

Tabletop scenarios are a safe space for your team to make suggestions, tested and, if necessary, abandoned, without reprimand. This helps to add to the overall purpose of incident response planning, which is to generate confidence and peace of mind when it comes to organisational threats.
From medical emergencies to cyber attacks, each instance spells different consequences for your organisation. By having an effective incident response plan in place, and then testing that plan (to be sure it works), you can reduce the damage and ensure your business is able to survive whatever might be coming your way.
If you need help establishing your organisation’s incident response plan or implementing tabletop scenarios using proven expertise, click here to get in touch with our team today.

Return to index