BT Tower to host the competition, as British Telecom returns as Strategic Partner

WASHINGTON, DC – December 4, 2019 –  The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative is hosting the third annual Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge in London on February 17-18, 2020. The competition will once again take place at BT Tower with our 2020 Strategic Partner – British Telecom.

The Challenge aims to identify and foster the next generation of leaders for the cybersecurity challenges of the future. Created in 2012, the competition aims to provide competitors across various academic disciplines with a deeper understanding of the strategy and policy challenges associated with cybersecurity and crisis management.

With just three months until the 2020 competition, 25 university teams have submitted applications to participate and 17 have been invited to London to compete in February. We will be joined by 17 teams of four from Bournemouth University, London School of Economics, King’s College London, Queen’s University Belfast, Royal Holloway University, University College London, University of East Anglia, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, and University of Portsmouth.

“We are delighted to present this year’s London edition of the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge, once more in partnership with British Telecom” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “Since its founding, the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge has been a unique mechanism to tackle the cyber skills shortage by training and mentoring the next generation of cybersecurity professionals across three continents.”

Pete Cooper, Competition Director and Atlantic Council Senior Fellow said, “We’re very excited that the UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is returning to London for its third year. We again look forward to welcoming fantastically capable, mixed-discipline teams that demonstrate the benefits that such diversity brings when steering through a complex cyber crisis.

“Previous participants have told us that they valued the opportunity to demonstrate and develop their understanding of strategy, presentation skills, and knowledge of cyber policy by engaging with today’s senior decision-makers. This is a key aspect of what we at Cyber 9/12 do—showing the talent of the future the range of amazing roles they can aspire to, and linking them with potential employers. Moreover, considering the pressing need to increase diversity in cybersecurity, I’m pleased to say that our multidisciplinary approach makes a huge difference: in 2019, just over 50% of our competitors were women. 

“We’re really looking forward to another amazing competition this year – and especially the creative ideas that the students will bring to the table in response to the 2020 scenario as it unfolds.”

Part interactive learning experience and part competitive scenario exercise, the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is about more than just obtaining high scores and winning prizes. The Strategy Challenge provides students a practical learning experience irrespective of academic discipline through a competition dynamic alongside panels, job fairs, and mentorship sessions. It connects current senior national and international cybersecurity practitioners with those of the future, highlighting the variety of multidisciplinary cyber career paths available across government and industry.

Les Anderson, Chief Information & Security Officer of British Telecom, added, “BT’s global cybersecurity business employs thousands of people worldwide. Of course, many of these are technical specialists but they cannot do the job alone. Our business also needs access to non-technical skills to function and grow effectively. We believe that the private sector has a significant role to play in building this broad base of cybersecurity skills for the future. This is why BT is proud to support Cyber 9/12 UK for the third year running.”

The competition is taking place with the kind support and sponsorship of BT as our Strategic Partner.  Other confirmed partners include Beazley, Sage, Standard Chartered Bank, ReSolve, Quisk, Cyber Defence Alliance, Global Cyber Alliance, and techUK. Further sponsors and partners will be announced in the near future.

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