Laurence Cooper, Kaycee Jacka, Freya Michaud, and Thomas Wood have reached the finals of the 2023 Cyber 9/12 Competition.

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is a cyber policy and strategy competition that sees students compete to develop policies that tackle a fictional cyber catastrophe.

The Challenge is the only global cyber competition that's designed to develop cyber skills through crisis simulation and policy analysis, with the aim of developing the next generation of cyber security professionals.

To reach the final, the team has had to answer several key questions, to evidence their background and experience. These answers helped to showcase their knowledge and skills in the areas that the challenge champions, including demonstrating expertise relating to technology, strategy, and policy.

Laurence, Kaycee, and Thomas are all students on the MA Cyber Crime and Terrorism, which means that the key skills and experience picked up as part of the competition will be vital for their future careers. Freya is taking the MA Public Policy in the School of Social Sciences having taken the ‘Cyber Warfare and Cyber Espionage’ module run by the coach of the team, Dr Kristan Stoddart, who is an Associate Professor in Cyber Threats.

This year, the competition finals will be returning to the BT Tower in London for the first time since 2020, with the team of students being led by Dr Stoddart, who has supported their journey throughout.

Speaking of their experiences the students commented as follows:


“I am honoured to be selected as part of the team to represent Swansea at the Cyber 9/12 Challenge. This is a brilliant opportunity to bring my experience to a national level and learn more about the world of Cyber Policy. Cyber 9/12 will also help me to meet industry professionals, experience working in a multidisciplinary environment and develop key skills for my Masters in Cybercrime and Terrorism.

“Studying my Undergraduate in Law, and having experience working in Law and Policy I am excited to work with my teammates from different backgrounds as it will help to develop my own skills. This will be a great experience and help me to start a career working in Cyber Policy.”


“As well as my studies I am the Senior Under Officer of Wales University Officer Training Corps and when I complete my studies, I hope to pursue a career as a regular officer within the Royal Corps of Signals.

“I hope that the problem-solving skills I have gained as an Army reservist will aid the team as we work through our scenario. This competition is a unique and incredible opportunity which enables us to work through a fictional but realistic crisis scenario as it develops whilst gaining feedback from industry professionals. It has been an honour to be part of a team of such motivated people and our varied academic backgrounds will hopefully give us the edge when tackling this competition in the finals at the BT tower next month.“


“I'm thrilled to be part of such a great team from Swansea University competing in the finals of UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge! I look forward to being immersed in a realistic cyber security scenario to get a really visceral experience of what it would be like in a genuine cyber security emergency.

“This experience will be incredibly valuable to my future career and current studies. I relish this unique opportunity to test my knowledge and skills gained in this master’s degree and my career to date. Our team has varied backgrounds and strengths, and we are incredibly proud to showcase these further in the finals. With our excellent coach Dr Kris Stoddart and our wide range of skills and experience, we are eager to tackle whatever is thrown at us. It will also be fantastic to compete in person after so long doing things virtually.”


“I hope to gain from this competition the skills and experience to work in a team in a cybersecurity policy context, and to network with other like-minded individuals in the industry. Hopefully the experience will also provide me with a set of potential ideas for future employment.

“The experiences gained from the competition will also provide invaluable inspiration to producing activities for my university cybersecurity society, Red Team Swansea.”

Covering the student’s achievements, Dr Kris Stoddart had the following to say:

“The Cyber 9/12 is a cyber policy and strategy contest, which involves students from across the world competing to develop policy recommendations to tackle a fictional cyber catastrophe. It’s the world’s only competition of its kind, ain aims to develop the next generation of cyber security professionals. The UK edition is one of 14 Cyber 9/12 competitions held around the world under the direction of the Atlantic Council, a major US think tank.

“This marks a fantastic opportunity for MA Cyber Crime and Terrorism students, alongside the MA in Public Policy who get to put their skills and knowledge to the test against a real-life scenario. It is a highly competitive competition and one that is important as we look to develop our cyber security base and look to identify and develop the next generation of leaders.”

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