On 3 October 2018 Microsoft and NIPO organized a Cyber Security War Game at NIPO offices in Amsterdam. A very interesting day that helped us understand a lot on the techniques used by hackers and made us gain insights in the power of cloud platforms in helping you defend against both internal and external threats.
The cyber war games are a business simulation event where one team must defend an (Azure) application from the attacks of another team. There is little to no upfront info on the application or any business processes for disaster. Is the application in a good state? Can we investigate what is going on? How should we divide priorities around all issues? How do we keep communicating well? Even without assuming high skills on the attackers you might be up for a big battle already. Let alone if the attackers bring out the big guns!
So, on Wednesday 3 October NIPO staff was up for this battle. Manas Bhardwaj and Rob van Abeelen from Microsoft came over to lead the game. NIPO staff was divided in a red and blue team. One team was attacking, the other defending an application.
The aim of the cyber war game was to:
Playing the game was a very fun and sometimes (intentional) stressful exercise. Our NIPO colleagues looked back on the event as a good exercise to make you more aware of security, as it brought many security aspects to the forefront. It was a good learning environment, to see how systems can be vulnerable. It was fun and a very close to a real event.
Apart from a solid confirmation that our efforts to collectively maintain security standards at the highest levels is nothing less than a necessity for a cloud Saas provider, we found these valuable learnings:
In conclusion, it was a very useful experience with positive feedback from our colleagues. We aim to repeat this session at our Madrid office soon.
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