Students in international cyber policy competition

5 April 2016

Students from the Swedish Defence University are travelling to Geneva, Switzerland to participate in The Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge 2016. An annual cyber policy competition, were students across the globe compete in developing national security policy recommendations tackling a fictional cyber catastrophe.

The students will respond to a major cyberattack on European networks. They will provide recommendations balancing individual national approaches and a collective crisis management response, considering capabilities, policies, and governance structures of NATO, EU, and individual nations. The competition fosters a culture of cooperation and a better understanding of these organizations and their member states in responding to cyberattacks.

Representing the University

Representing SEDU are Johan Sigholm Ph.D. student in Military Technology, Carl von Gerber student from the Military Contract Education and Sarah Backman, Erik Ryd and Isak Malm, all students from The Master's Programme in Politics and War.

– It is a unique opportunity for us to interact with mentors, students and cyber professionals from around the globe. The strength of our team is our ability to present a multidimensional approach, combining military, technical, law and policy-expertise on cybersecurity, says Sarah Backman, student at the Master's programme in Politics and War.

Qualifying Round

In a Qualifying Round the student-teams will send in a policy brief exploring the challenges faced by state, military, and industry actors related to the cyber incident described in the scenario materials. The brief must also recommend appropriate actions and policy responses for the actors involved.

On the 7 and 8 of April the teams will give a ten minute presentation to a panel of judges, followed by ten minutes of judges' questions and final feedback. Advancing teams will receive Intelligence Report II.

Semifinalist teams present modified policy recommendations based on the evolving scenario. Teams advancing to the final round are given Intelligence Report III and very limited time to adjust their recommendations. Finalists present on stage to a panel of celebrity judges, who award the winning team in a closing reception.

One-of-a-kind competition

The Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge is a one-of-a-kind competition designed to provide students across academic disciplines with a deeper understanding of the policy challenges associated with cyber crisis and conflict. Part interactive learning experience and part competitive scenario exercise, it challenges teams to respond to a realistic, evolving cyberattack and analyse the threat it poses to national, international, and private sector interests.

In the picture from left: Carl von Gerber, Erik Ryd, Sarah Backman, Johan Sigholm and Isak Malm.