24 November 2023

Four Fife College students have been recognised by the Atlantic Council at the international security group’s Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge.

HND Cyber Security Students Kieran Snowdon, Gordon Smith, Brandon MacDonald, and Ignacy Boguszewicz took part in the two-day regional heat of the global competition to identify the best and brightest talents in cyber security.

The international competition is organised by the Atlantic Council, the renowned think tank tasked with providing advice to leaders across the globe on conflict resolution, cybercrime and climate change.

Hosted at Abertay University’s cyberQuarter in Dundee, the mock cyberattack scenario tested students’ crisis management and response capabilities. Judges, including representatives from Google and the Scottish Government, voted the Fife College team’s cyber security policy brief as the best of all participating teams, which included universities and other colleges from across Scotland.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Ignacy said:

“Participating in the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge was an incredible experience where our team excelled and learned a lot. Navigating through complex scenarios, we honed our skills in strategic thinking and crisis management.

"The invaluable experience deepened our understanding of real-world cyber threats. We're proud of our performance and grateful for the learning opportunities the challenge provided.”

Stewart McDonald, Director of Digital & Creative Industries at Fife College, said:

“We are immensely proud of Kieran, Gordon, Brandon and Ignacy for their outstanding performance at the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge. Up against universities and other colleges from across the country, their dedication, technical expertise, and innovative approach stood out.

“This achievement of course reflects the exceptional capabilities of our students but it also showcases Fife College’s commitment to fostering top-tier talent in this growing industry. I do not doubt that these students will continue to excel as they embark on their careers in the dynamic and critical field of cybersecurity.”

For more information about Digital, Computing and Cyber courses available at Fife College, visit our course pages here

Photograph: (left to right) Ignacy Boguszewicz, Kieran Snowdon, Brandon MacDonald and Gordon Smith are pictured at the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge at Abertay University’s cyberQuarter in Dundee.

About Atlantic Council Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge

A ‘one-of-a-kind cyber competition designed to provide students from across academic disciplines with a deeper understanding of the policy and strategy challenges associated with management of trade-offs during a cyber crisis’, the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is now in its twelfth year.

Since its establishment in Washington, DC in 2012, the challenge has expanded its reach globally, with regional competitions across the US, as well as in London, Dundee, Geneva, Paris, Santo Domingo, Tashkent, and Cape Town. This year was the second time the event has been hosted in Scotland.

The regional competition in Scotland was sponsored by DigiTay, the Tay Cities Digital Skills Project which is part of the £20 million Regional Skills and Employability Development Programme, funded by the Scottish Government through the Tay Cities Region Deal.