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Following the success of our virtual events throughout the last year, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre organised two live Exercise in a Box ‘Ransomware’ and ‘Digital Supply Chain’ events in Edinburgh (9th Mar) and Aberdeen (10th Mar). The events were very well-received and drew various industry members from private, public and third sector, for educational and networking sessions.

The Exercise in a Box toolkit is an online, self-help tool from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) which is designed to help organisations test and practice their response to a cyber-attack. Essentially, it is a free, 90 minute non-technical workshop which helps organisations find out how resilient they are to cyber-attacks and practice their response in a safe environment. Read more here.

The Exercise in a Box delivery project in Scotland began execution in August 2020. Since then, SBRC has successfully delivered 75 workshops that have been attended by over 650 organisations and 1325 attendees, themed on four scenarios, ‘Working From Home’, Ransomware, Digital Supply Chain, and ‘Micro Exercises’. Find out more about the best practices and the success of SBRC’s Exercise in a Box project delivery, here.

The Edinburgh Exercise in a Box ‘Ransomware’ event, held on 9th Mar at the Sheraton Hotel. The Aberdeen Exercise in a Box ‘Digital Supply Chain’ in-person session was organised in collaboration with IFB and took place on 10th Mar at the brilliant venue, ONE TechHub. The events were attended by over six companies and collected positive feedback. Similar to the virtual events, these two workshops kicked off with Declan Doyle, Head of Ethical Hacking & Client Services, SBRC, introducing the scenario and sharing the contents, aims and expectations of the session. Subsequently, the attendees from each organisation were paired with the experienced facilitators, ethical hackers, who initiate the group discussion and take you through and facilitate the set of questions designed to re-create a certain scenario. Find out more about how our workshop is facilitated and the benefits of attending this workshop for any and every organisation here.

Video from SBRC’s Exercise in a Box ‘Digital Supply Chain’ In-Person Event, 10th Mar

Following this, the participants were asked to share their observations, learnings and key takeaways from the workshop. Some of the main points shared were as follows:

  • It is extremely crucial to ask the right questions about safeguarding data online and offline within the organisation
  • The public sector of Scotland needs to focus on user awareness training going forward as it is now of utmost importance
  • Private, large scale organisations tend to assume that their data is secure as long as they have an IT department, however that’s not always the case – more awareness and regular conversation around the subject is required through trainings and workshops 
  • It is important to conduct regular training sessions for all staff members within the organisation, irrespective of their role and job description, to ensure cyber breaches can be prevented, and dealt with if a cyber attack were to occur
Testimonial provided at the Edinburgh event by Tom Little, Senior Cyber Security Manager, NHS Borders

Here are some photos from our live events:

Event Update: Following the huge success of our virtual and in-person Exercise in a Box events over the last two years, we are bringing back more ‘Ransomware’, ‘Digital Supply Chain’ and ‘Micro Exercises’ events across Scotland – do register to secure a space

The main idea behind organising, and celebrating these live events, is to restore what’s been lost these last two years, and build the way forward for Exercise in a Box live events being held across Scotland, as was always the plan for SBRC. The project was primarily designed for organisations to hold and facilitate their own internal exercises, physically bringing key people together. However, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions at the time, it became challenging to bring people together into one room to participate. SBRC took an alternative and innovative approach by delivering a series of ‘virtual’ Exercise in a Box events utilising video conferencing platforms, delivered and supported by a cadre of SBRC’s experienced ethical hacking students. Read more about the journey of Exercise in a Box at SBRC in our recent Case Study here.

Video courtesy: Michael Westcott,

Photos courtesy: Ross Brownlee, Imagine Images,