UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure hails Cyber 9/12’s “fantastic” work in developing the UK’s “cyber leaders of the future”

WASHINGTON, DC – March 23, 2020 – The third annual Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge in London, hosted by the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, has been praised by the UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure for its “fantastic” work in developing the UK’s “cyber leaders of the future.”      

The Minister, Matt Warman MP, delivered a keynote at the two-day event, held at BT Tower with our 2020 Strategic Partner – British Telecom. Other keynote speakers included: Paul Chichester, Director of Operations at the UK National Cyber Security Centre; Kevin Brown, Managing Director of BT Security; Martha Lane-Fox, Director of Twitter and Co-Founder of; and Paul Bantick, Leader of the London and International Cyber and Tech Team for Beazley Group.

The Strategy Challenge aims to identify and foster the next generation of leaders for the cybersecurity challenges of the future. Established 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.

Seventeen teams from universities across the UK competed in the UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge this year. Coming in first place this year was team Cyber Seals from the University of Oxford. As Gold Sponsor, Sage, a market leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, will be providing the winning prize.

The runners-up from Queen’s University Belfast won a two-week paid placement with the cyber security team at the specialist insurance firm Beazley, while SmartWorking firm Smarter Not Harder will provide bespoke productivity training for the third-placed team from Royal Holloway, University of London.

“It’s been another fantastic year for the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge in the UK,” said Pete Cooper, Competition Director and Atlantic Council Senior Fellow. “Once again, our competitors proved that there’s a huge amount of diverse cybersecurity talent out there. We had a 50:50 split in terms of gender representation in mixed-discipline teams that came together to deliver high-quality and creative policy ideas. With such aptitude and enthusiasm on display, it is fantastic to see great support across government, industry and academia for these student competitors.”

Cooper concluded: “This competition only works because of organizations and individuals in the wider cybersecurity community that give their time and resources so generously. It’s a long list this year but it starts with Matt Warman MP, the Minister of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whose support we greatly appreciate. Special thanks also go to all our sponsors, including our Strategic Partner BT and Platinum Sponsor Beazley, and to the many experts who kindly participated in the challenge as judges during the two-day competition.”

This year’s competition took place with the kind support and sponsorship of: BT (Strategic Partner): Beazley (Platinum Sponsor); Sage (Gold Sponsor); ReSolve, Quisk (Silver Sponsors); Standard Chartered Bank (Bronze Sponsor); Smarter Not Harder, techUK, Cyber Defence Alliance, Global Cyber Alliance, National Cyber Deception Laboratory (Affiliate Partners).

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