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Steelhenge reports sharp increase in demand for crisis exercising in both public and private sectors
Steelhenge reports that both private and public sector organisations are commissioning more crisis exercises than ever before, with a notable emphasis on requests for cyber scenarios.
By: Isobel Nicholas
"We see the growth in exercising as evidence that organisations recognise that planning alone is not enough to build resilience,"
When asked about the benefits of crisis exercises, Dominic replied; "Exercising is highly cost effective in terms of the return on training investment, and greater learning is achieved by rehearsal than by online training or class room based courses alone. To be a player in a simulation is to experience the practicalities of implementing a plan and, in a crisis simulation, to experience the pressures and stresses of responding under time pressure, managing information, taking decisions and communicating effectively. Phones ring, faxes buzz and e-mail piles up," Dominic explained. "Our clients have the opportunity to see their company in the news and watch the media reaction as the story unfolds in real time. Without exception, the feedback from clients taking part in these exercises is positive," Dominic added. "They find it a unique and highly beneficial experience in the development of a crisis or business continuity capability, with staff gaining confidence in their skills and plans as well really understanding the importance of their role in determining the reputation and future performance of their organisation.
"Looking at the trends in scenarios," Dominic continued, "cyber threats are currently the most frequently requested scenario. We have delivered four cyber exercises in the last two months." When asked what could be the reason behind this trend, Dominic said; " This may be partially in response to the risk from cyber threats highlighted in the UK's National Security Strategy published in October, but also may be a recognition by many of just how dependent their operations are on critical information structures (CII) and critical national infrastructures."
"Looking ahead into 2011 and beyond," Dominic concluded, "we see the exercising trend continuing across the board not only as part of good governance and compliance, but also of risk management, as operating in the climate of continuing economic pressure underlines the importance of building resilience to protect performance."
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Steelhenge Consulting provides end to end business continuity, crisis management and emergency planning services to a broad range of corporate clients internationally, as well as to UK Government Departments, local authorities, the European Commission and NGOs. Steelhenge also delivers specialist services in energy resilience, utility resilience, ICT continuity management, information security and sports event emergency management. Steelhenge has particular expertise in the preparation of people to perform effectively in implementing crisis and business continuity plans, and in communicating both internally and externally with stakeholders during a crisis.
Established in 2004, with offices in London and Salisbury, Steelhenge is the UK's leader in the delivery of bespoke emergency response training and incident management exercises for staff at all levels from the strategic through the tactical to the operational.