Ever wonder what it’s like to be in the control room of a Fortune 100 company as a cyber-attack unfolds? The Brown University Executive Master in Cybersecurity (EMCS) Class of 2019 needs to wonder no more. They spent the day at the IBM X-Force Command Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, immersed in a high-tech cyber-simulation as members of a fictitious global trading firm’s cyber fusion team.
The room mimicked a cyber control room with approximately 50 seats arrayed in lecture style, each with its own desktop phone. Large computer screens mounted on the wall flanked the front of the room flashing the fictionalized companies critical data feeds, including the fake company’s Twitter updates.
Suddenly the phones started ringing off the hook signaling the oncoming meltdown from the attack. Actors called in pretending to be panicked customers, demanding business partners, muckraking reporters, and an irate CEO. And let’s just say that Twitter feed did not look pretty.
The veracity of IBM’s cyber-simulation, including mock TV interviews, triggered an explosion of energy and action in the room as the students put to test their accumulated experience and EMCS lessons learned.
A big thank you to Emily Baugher, Managing Director at IBM and Brown EMCS Class of 2019, for organizing the event in conjunction with Chris Esemplare’87, VP and General Manager at IBM Global Security Services, and Brown Class of 1987. Baugher shared,
I saw value in having my cohort members go through this cyber-simulation especially since it ties together everything that we’re learning and makes it real.