The Annual Inter-Services Cyber Network Defence Challenge

When representatives from the MoD meet to take part in the annual Inter-Services Cyber Network Defence Challenge, it’s not only their Cyber Security technical skills that get put through their paces. The need for precise communications, rapid decision making and above all, teamwork is paramount to be crowned the Cyber Inter-Services Cyber Network Defence Challenge Champions.

Hands on challenges designed to test the best

The Inter-Services Cyber Network Defence Challenge 2017 (ISCNDC) event pits four teams - Army, Navy, Air Force and Civil Service against each other to compete for the coveted ISCNDC Challenger Champion award in the QA Cyber Labs in London.

With challenges that test both individual technical ability and the teamwork skills of experienced Cyber Professionals, the Capture The Flag event is designed to is designed to teach those who attend to detect and deter Cyber attacks. Held in an immersive but safe environment, the teams face each other in a series of purposeful challenges that are time sensitive and technically challenging.

Working against the clock, the teams work together to solve Cyber Security challenges, and as they deploy the right solutions to solve them and ‘capture the flag’, the winning teams accumulate points. With constant guidance from QA’s expert Cyber instructors, the teams are supported to ensure their learning is maximised.

Four days of Cyber Security Challenges

Run over four days in QA’s unique Cyber Lab in London, the teams experience a range of carefully constructed Cyber challenges to test their Cyber Security skills and leadership.

With the challenges scored, this event fuses hands on immersive learning with the added incentive of competition to give the attendees a truly unique learning experience.

Day 1 - Four rounds of technical challenges featuring defensive skills, malware detection and prevention, penetration testing and incident response – where teams are challenged on how best to assess and identify points of compromise and weakness.

Day 2 – Whether it’s testing their knowledge through the suite of tools in the Kali Linux environment, performing encoding, decoding, encryption and decryption to solve cryptographic puzzles, performing post breach clean ups or identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities, the teams individual and collective skills are tested to the max.

Day 3 – Focusing on ‘threat hunting’, day 3 puts participants up against each other and the clock. The tiered threat hunting challenges test even the most experienced Cyber defenders by using advanced labs that offer a complex labyrinth of systems within which the teams must work to find the flags and earn the points.

Day 4 – Attack and Defend. Arguably the most contested day (there is is money at stake), each team is given a compromised network of machines and score rewards when they analyse and identify vulnerabilities and secure them. With the challenge of defending the other teams Cyber-attacks and the reality that every second of down time costs the teams ‘money’, day 4 culminates in an all-out attack and defend event.

 During the multiple time sensitive tasks we had to employ clear communications and engage the versatile skills of our team to meet the demands of the scenario. The event provided a clear opportunity to develop my technical skills alongside my leadership skills.

“This was an amazing opportunity to represent my team and understand my own skills, leadership and personal capability for Cyber…