• Berta Pappenheim

CyberFish @ the 2019 QA Inter-Services Cyber Network Defence Challenge

We pitted four MOD teams against each other on the first day of the coveted ISCNDC Challenge Champion award at QA's Cyber Lab in London.




The 2019 Inter-Services Cyber Network Defence Challenge (ISCNDC) pitted four teams – Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Civil Service, – against each other to compete for the coveted ISCNDC Challenge Champion award at QA’s Cyber Lab in London.


When these representatives from the MOD met to take part in the challenge, it was not only their cyber security technical skills that got put through their paces.


The need for precise communications, rapid decision making and above all, teamwork was paramount for the winners to be crowned the Cyber Defender Capture The Flag Champions (CTF).


Run over four days, the teams experienced a series of carefully constructed challenges. Each task required talented individuals working in isolation or as part of a team. They had to step up and demonstrate their cyber defence skills, in QA’s unique state of the art cyber lab; a fully immersive learning experience to win the coveted Inter-Services CTF!


The first day began with the Cyber War Game by CyberFish!


The participants first undertook the Cyber Attitudes Assessment (CAA), a trait based screening diagnostics tool that reduces human risk at organisations by analysing personality traits that can potentially expose individuals to cyber security risk. The goal of the diagnostics tests is to enable organisations to fortify the human membrane, of their cyber security defences in a targeted way.


This was followed by a two-part wargame. The first stage focused on a Cyber Attack Simulation which saw the participants working in teams to deal with a simulated cyber attack. A gamified incident that enfolded gradually, putting participants under pressure and prompting them to work together to deal with the scenario. The fictional scenario and injects were specifically designed to demonstrate the technical backgrounds and TTP’s of typical attackers in the critical national infrastructure sector.


In the second part of the wargame, the participants were observed by facilitators while they adopted new approaches to their teamwork based on how they could adopt new behaviours into their team work based on the insight and assessment reports provided. Each participant was challenged based on their relative strengths and development areas highlighted in the CAA.


"This was an amazing opportunity to represent my team and understand my own skills, leadership and personal capability for cyber" one of the delegates summarised the experience of the day.


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