PwC launches ‘Game of Threats’ in the UK

Published at 00:01 AM on 20 September 2016

With nearly three quarters of UK CEOs regarding cyber security as one of the top three risks to their organisations, along with over-regulation and geopolitical uncertainty1, it’s clear that increasing cyber threats and the number of recent public breaches is moving cyber security up the list of top business priorities. But if systems were breached and time was ticking, would boards and leadership teams be ready to respond?

PwC’s Game of Threats™ – an interactive cyber breach simulation for senior executives – has today been launched in the UK. The head-to-head digital card game pits teams of attackers against defenders and is designed to simulate the experience that leadership teams could realistically face in the midst of a cyber attack.

The game was developed by PwC based on experience of real life cyber attacks clients had faced. Designed to be a non-technical introduction to cyber security, the game sees each team interact with a tablet controller and choose from a number of attack or response cards to play. Through 12 rounds of quick, high-impact decision-making, players face similar pressures to a real cyber attack. Senior executives are given the chance to explore various strategies and familiarise themselves with cyber terminology, whilst seeing the impact of their moves in real time and facing constraints on time, resources and information.

Run as part of a workshop and education session with PwC’s cyber security experts, Game of Threats helps leadership teams assess and enhance their readiness for cyber incidents, covering how to:

  • Identify potential threat actors that may target an organisation and the tactics they may use;
  • Explore how secure their organisation is against these threat actors;
  • Recognise the reputational, financial and regulatory impacts of cyber attacks and breach response;
  • Understand the potential ramifications and remediation options during and after an attack;
  • Understand what can be done to prevent an attack; and
  • Learn key cyber security trends and terminology.

Alex Petsopoulos, cyber security partner at PwC, said:

“Cyber security requires leadership and engagement from the very top of a business and is no longer merely a topic for IT. Game of Threats is intended to raise awareness amongst business leaders of the real and increasing nature of cyber threats. The workshop challenges clients to answer questions about how they would cope in a real situation, educating a senior leadership team on current cyber issues, crisis decision-making, and associated communications techniques.”

After playing Game of Threats, PwC moderators provide a detailed summary of the game, reviewing both teams’ strategies, actions and missed opportunities to prevent – or succeed in executing – a cyber security breach. The moderators also discuss how the game could relate back to the real life security posture and risks facing the client’s organisation, providing real and practical value to executives.

Christian Arndt, cyber security director at PwC, concluded:

“The workshop allows participants to develop a better knowledge of the threat actors, tools and techniques which could threaten their systems and data. We then help players consider how best to prevent, detect and defend against such threats.

“We’ve taken some of the UK’s largest businesses through the game to date, tailoring it to best reflect their individual situation and risk profile. Game of Threats has helped these businesses gain a better understanding of the cyber threats they face, and serves as a good test of the efficacy of their current cyber security strategy.”

Should you wish to learn more about Game of Threats or organise a workshop, the PwC cyber security team will be delighted to talk to you. Please contact to find out more.


Notes to editors:

  1. Statistic taken from PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey 2016:

For more information, please contact Felicity Main: / +44 (0)20 7213 3092 / +44 (0)7841 467 421


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