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Government exercise bytes back at cyber criminals

We were one of the organisations that took part in a national-level cyber security exercise organised by the government.

Men sitting around table with laptops and map on screen

Exercise PowerPlay was managed by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and saw 170 participants at 13 different locations across the UK face a complex set of inter-linked scenarios based upon real attacks that have been seen in other countries.
OT Systems Manager Sarah Hadfield said: “We have always worked closely with BEIS, NCSC and other operators to manage cyber security risks to both our information technology and operational technology systems. 

“Exercise PowerPlay was two years in the planning and required some really detailed work in advance to make the exercise the success it was.  It pulled together different areas of our business – testing technical capability, incident management and communications.

“All the participants got into the spirit of the exercise, enjoyed the experience and we got some useful learning from it too. The wider learning points for the energy sector response will now be progressed via key industry and government forums.” 

Cyber Security Manager Rob Field added: “It was challenging but it successfully tested our security and operational processes along with giving us the opportunity to enhance our ‘continued improvement’ cyber security programme. Colleagues from our DSO Control Systems, Control, Contact Centre and Legal teams took part and I’d like to thank them for their participation.”  

Network Services Manager for Wales Sean Sullivan highlighted the cross-team working opportunity the exercise provided and how test scenarios create learning opportunities.

“While some of the teams are used to working together and ramping up during severe weather that doesn’t apply to everyone,” he said.

“We used the exercise to push ourselves to the limit and raise awareness of cyber security attacks.  We learnt a huge amount about ourselves and our ability to deal with such a situation. We also learnt how important it is to work as one large, integrated team.”

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