Human collaboration and leadership of cybersecurity teams, whether co-located or virtual, are essential when responding during a realistic cyber-attack and have been has been identified as an important predictor of cyber resilience and defence performance. Technology is good at reducing the number of breaches, but only real people, working together as a team can save the business once a breach has been successful, working face to face or remotely should not make a big difference in the quality of the response. Unfortunately, misunderstandings, communication problems and diminished engagement are everyday realities of virtual communications, and these issues, within the incident response team, may put the success of even the best technical response at risk. One of the biggest challenges for virtual teams, therefore is to prevent geographical distance from leading to psychological distance and to establish a set of trusting relationships influenced by a balanced assessment of other team members’ technical expertise and personality, especially under increased stress.
CyberFish psychologists and cyber incident response experts have identified a number of protective factors, that can help people improve remote team synergies and resilience. We have created an on-line exercise to practice these behaviours in a safe environment, specifically designed for cyber incident response teams. Our virtual incident response exercise was developed in a way that it takes teams through a realistic simulation of a real-life cyber incident scenario, just like a fire drill, step by step. Participating in the virtual incident management simulation offers a cutting-edge experience of addressing incident response in a virtual war room. The simulation exercise is followed by a guided discussion with a psychologist, which provides ample opportunities for reflection and establishing new routines for teams to work successfully together in virtual environments.