Wednesday 20 May 2020

Keble DPhil Student in Cyber 9/12 London winning team

Congratulations to Keble DPhil student Yashovardhan Sharma, who was part the winning team of the Cyber 9/12 UK Strategy Challenge. He and his teammates were the first Oxford group to win the competition since its inception eight years ago.

Image: Oxford CyberSeals, Cyber 9/12 UK Strategy Challenge Winners. From left: Dr Lucas Kello (coach), Alexis Montouris Ciambotti, Manuel Hepfer, Matthew Rogers and Yashovardhan Sharma.

Yashovardhan, who is currently completing his DPhil in Cyber Security at the Department of Computer Science, says: “The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge was a fantastic experience to apply my cybersecurity expertise in a practical and realistic context. The challenge essentially simulates a real-world crisis involving complex escalating cyberattacks with national and international ramifications, where we play the role of senior government advisors who are responsible for developing a precise and effective strategy for the nation as a whole. As with any real crisis, there is limited useful information to work with, the situation keeps evolving continuously, and as time passes, more (and often contradictory) information comes to light. The goal throughout remains to chart a well thought-out path for the government through this crisis, taking into consideration all strategic implications and mitigating any seen (and unforeseen) circumstances. Together with a brilliant set of teammates with diverse skills relating to cybersecurity, we designed, developed and presented our policy recommendations. Our respective skills really complemented each other and we were fortunate enough to win on the basis of this teamwork. This, more than anything, underscored for me the importance of having a diverse and competent set of people who can draw on each other’s strengths to collectively tackle some of the greatest challenges of our time.”

The team, known as the CyberSeals, also included Alexis Montouris Ciambotti (MPhil Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations), Manuel Hepfer (DPhil Cyber Security, Saïd Business School), Matthew Rogers (DPhil Cyber Security, Department of Computer Science) and coach Dr Lucas Kello (Associate Professor of International Relations, Department of Politics and International Relations).

A blog post about their experience is available on the Atlantic Council website.