The Atlantic Council’s first Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge for Scotland has been held at Abertay University’s cyberQuarter, Dundee on Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday 19th of October with St. Andrews University taking first place.
Abertay cyberQuarter is the University’s new cybersecurity innovation centre and is the ideal place to simulate real-world conditions for participants.
This edition of the Strategy Challenge was developed for college and university students in Scotland.
Cyber 9/12 competitors assumed the role of senior policy advisors navigating a significant cyber incident targeting healthcare infrastructure.
Student competitors gained valuable and realistic learning experience on technical, policy, and strategy aspects of cybersecurity. The competition included senior cybersecurity leaders from around the globe as judges who evaluated competitors as they navigated the cyber crisis.
The Abertay University Team
Abertay University secured second place with Fife College coming in third.
The Fife College Team
Thirteen post-secondary institutions across Scotland participated, including teams from Abertay University, Dundee and Angus College, Fife College, Forth Valley College, Glasgow University, Perth College UHI, UHI West Highland, University of St. Andrews, University of the Highlands and Islands and Napier University.
Safa Shahwan Edwards, Deputy Direct of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative said: “The Atlantic Council is thrilled to bring the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge to Scotland.
“This is a major step for the Cyber 9/12 competition program, the Cyber Statecraft Initiative, and the Atlantic Council as a whole. It was great to see such strong turnout for an inaugural event and are honoured to partner with the Scottish Government, Dewar Cyber Consulting and Abertay University to bring multidisciplinary cyber training to students in Scotland.
“Encouraging students to form multidisciplinary teams and examine the ‘why’ behind cyber incidents, beyond just the ‘how,’ will diversify the cyber talent pipeline to better reflect users of technology.”
Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans, Keith Brown said: “Scotland is working hard to increase the numbers of people aspiring to a career in cyber security. Our Strategic Framework for a Cyber Resilient Scotland sets out a number of actions to develop a strong pipeline of talent to meet the needs of this booming industry.
“The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for students studying in a range of disciplines to consider an exciting and rewarding career in cyber security, and I send my best wishes to the teams taking part.”
Abertay cyberQuarter was officially launched on June 15 and is funded through the Tay Cities Region Deal by the University and the UK and Scottish governments.
The £18 million hub will provide a new home for the Scottish cybersecurity sector where industry partners can mix with Abertay University students and academics, creating new solutions to global cybersecurity challenges through innovation, research and development.
It will also be a place where established businesses can be based and start-ups can be supported, bringing inclusive economic growth to the area via the fast-growing cybersecurity sector. Crucially, Abertay cyberQuarter will contribute to the creation of job opportunities that will help keep the best Scottish industry and graduate talent in Scotland.
Alastair Irons, Abertay University Deputy Principal added: “It’s very fitting that the Atlantic Council’s Cyber 9/12 strategy challenge, the first time it has been held in Scotland, is being hosted at the Abertay cyberQuarter.
“We aim to give students the chance to deal with real industry problems for high-profile organizations and the competition presents this perfect opportunity to do so. I look forward to seeing the creative solutions participants come up with for the problems presented to them over the two days of competition.”