The UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge

This year the 2nd UK Cyber Challenge took place on 11th February at the BT Tower and is the cyber security policy and strategy competition for the UK!

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is an initiative by the Atlantic Council, a Washington DC-based think tank which promotes leadership and engagement in international affairs.

17 university teams from across the UK took part in the challenge where they were pre-presented with a scenario which in this case consisted of an independent researcher informing an energy company that he had detected a vulnerability in their software, which if exploited could hold their fuel supplies at the pumps to ransom.  In addition the researcher gave the company an ultimatum that he would publicise the vulnerability if the software was not patched within a certain timeframe!

The teams had 10 minutes to present 3 policies to a panel of 4 judges (as if presenting directly to the government) on how to deal with the situation along with with their final recomendation.

I was fortunate to be asked to join the panel of judges and provided my scoring on the presentations from 2 of the teams.  The winning team received flights and tickets to the annual black-hat USA conference!

This was an exceptionally interesting experience and provided great insight into not only one of many key initiatives taking place within the UK but of the fast growing interest amongst university students towards the profession.

Topping off the evening was a fantastic and very informative drinks and diner at the amazing Lancaster House where amidst some great food and very illustrious company we heard more about the intent and drive behind this event and similar initiatives of which The  UK government’s Department for Digitial, Culture, Media and Sport ‘DCMS’ is a primary sponsor and driver.

This is definitely an event to watch out for and I’ll be keeping an eye out for my 2020 invite! ☺

Liz Banbury