Swansea students, Louise Wilson, Océane Dieu and Florence King, along with Heriot Watt’s Gayatri Dixit, have formed the dual-university SW4NSE4 CYB3R team, with support from Dr Kris Stoddart throughout their journey to the finals.

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is an annual cyber policy and strategy competition, where the brightest students from across the globe compete in developing policy recommendations to tackle a fictional cyber catastrophe.

The Challenge is the world’s only global cyber competition designed to tackle the cyber skills shortage through crisis simulation and policy analysis, aiming to foster and develop the next generation of cyber security professionals.

In order to reach the final, the SW4NSE4 CYB3R team had to answer several carefully set questions, to evidence their background and experience, while demonstrating their competency across a number of skills that the challenge champions, including understanding technology, strategy, and policy.

The questions ranged from considering the most significant world cyber event to date, to tackling government policy, while looking at how the UK can meet its aspirations to be a responsible, democratic cyber power. 

The team utilised each of their unique skillsets to provide detailed responses to each of the challenges set. They will now appear at the Challenge finals, which are due to be held virtually between the 14th-16th of February. A reception is planned for later in 2022, to celebrate the finalists, and enable them to meet with industry and government supporters of the challenge. 

Speaking on reaching the finals, MA Cyber Crime and Terrorism student, Louise, said:

"Carrying out my Master's in Cybercrime and Terrorism here at Swansea University has provided me with this once in a lifetime opportunity which I am honoured and grateful to be a part of. It will undoubtedly enhance my career prospects in this field, and it will be the stepping stone assisting me in achieving my future goals of making the web and technology a safer place."

Talking about the Challenge, Florence said:

“I am excited to further my understanding of the industry and gain valuable contacts throughout the competition. We are particularly proud to be representing Swansea University with an all-female team in a relatively male-dominated industry. Despite the Challenge receiving its highest number of applications this year, we are thrilled that team SW4NSE4 CYB3R has excelled, making it to the final.”

On her experiences, Océane had the following to say:

“I see the Challenge as a once in a lifetime opportunity where I will be able to put my passion for cyber security, law, politics and policy-making into practice. I am convinced that the strength of our team’s work will lie in combining our backgrounds, which will allow each one of us to grow. I can’t wait to start this adventure that will hopefully be the first step into a career in cyber security!”

Heriot Watt’s Gayatri Dixit said:

“This is an excellent opportunity to put my knowledge about Cyber security into practice. I am excited and looking forward to being a part of the SW4NSE4 CYB3R team. Working together will be exciting and will give us an opportunity to learn from each other. I am confident that participating in this challenge will give me a good insight to start my career in Cyber Security.”

Talking about supporting the team through to the finals, Dr Kris Stoddart said:

“I was honoured to be able to put together a team from Swansea. They will do themselves and Swansea University proud and showcase the diverse range of skills fostered within the MA on Cyber Crime and Terrorism. I have every faith the team and the event will be a success. I am proud to support our team and the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge.”

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