BT returns as strategic partner for virtual cybersecurity strategy challenge for UK students

WASHINGTON, DC—February 10, 2021—The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative will host the UK edition of the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge on February 16-17, 2021. The competition will be held entirely virtually for the first time, increasing access to cyber training and learning opportunities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the fourth year in a row, BT has demonstrated its commitment to developing the UK’s cybersecurity leaders of the future by reconfirming as a strategic partner of event.

The UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge aims to identify and foster the next generation of leaders to face the cybersecurity challenges of the future. The Strategy Challenge was established in Washington, DC in 2012 to provide university students from varied academic disciplines with a deeper understanding of the strategy and policy challenges associated with cybersecurity. Since then, the competition has expanded to seven different sites around the globe, highlighting the need for a global cyber workforce and the variety of cybersecurity career paths available.

“We are thrilled to host our first-ever virtual presentation of the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge in London, once again in partnership with BT,” said Atlantic Council president and CEO Frederick Kempe. “Since its expansion to the United Kingdom in 2018, the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge has served as an integral part of the UK’s efforts to address the cyber skills shortage through simulation, training and mentorship of the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. “

Since its expansion to the United Kingdom in 2018, the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge has served as an integral part of the UK’s efforts to address the cyber skills shortage through simulation, training and mentorship of the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Atlantic Council president and CEO Frederick Kempe.

Part-interactive learning experience and part-competitive scenario exercise, Cyber 9/12 competitors take on the role of advisors to the UK government in responding to a cyber incident. The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is about more than just competition and winning – it also enables students, irrespective of their academic discipline, to gain an invaluable and realistic learning experience of the technical, policy and strategy aspects of cybersecurity. The competition also convenes current senior cybersecurity thought leaders from around the globe to connect with the next generation of cybersecurity leaders. With this year’s event going virtual, participants will have increased opportunities to meet with and learn from industry representatives, with a range of drop-in career clinics, recruitment advice sessions and masterclasses run being held alongside the competition.

After receiving the highest number of applications yet, a total of 20 teams from various universities across the British Isles have been selected to compete at the 2021 Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge finals, including Queen’s University Belfast, Warwick University, Imperial College London and Oxford.

BT is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network company, and a provider of global communications and services in over 180 countries. BT is committed to developing a cybersecurity workforce that will enable us to deal with complex cybersecurity incidents in the future. This makes BT an ideal champion of the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge’s aims, where they will be providing inspirational keynote speakers, judges and mentors for the students. BT also aim to host the winners at a Prize Giving Reception at the BT Tower later in the year if possible.

Robert Black, Competition Director, said: “The Atlantic Council’s UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is delighted to renew its strategic partnership with BT. The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is reliant on global leaders who recognise the need to build a holistic cybersecurity workforce and invest in today’s cadre of university students. BT shares our vision for providing opportunities for students to better understand the cyber ecosystem and grow through simulation, and gain access to professional opportunities available to them in the cybersecurity industry. The pandemic has created interesting challenges for all but, if nothing else, it has highlighted the need for effective policy development and decision-making in times of crisis. At the same time, it’s never been more important to foster a pipeline of dedicated and driven graduates keen to pursue a career in cybersecurity.”

Hila Meller, Europe Security Director at BT, said: “We’re delighted to continue our strategic partnership with the Atlantic Council’s UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge, as part of our mission to help develop the next generation of cybersecurity leaders. The past 12 months have provided us all with a multitude of unexpected challenges, including how we manage and protect a diverse and disparate workforce working remotely. However, the cybersecurity landscape has not stood still and adversaries continue to target us all on a daily basis. Now more than ever it is critical for us to find the next generation of protectors to face the security challenges of the future.”

Further information on security careers at BT is available at https://www.bt.com/careers/careers-at-bt/security

For further questions, please contact [email protected]. Follow the conversation online using #Cyber912.