International Cybersecurity Forum 28th, 29th and 30th January 2020 Lille Grand Palais

What is the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge?

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is a one-of-a-kind competition designed to provide students across academic disciplines with a deeper understanding of the policy challenges associated with cyber crises. Part interactive learning experience and part competitive scenario exercise, it challenges teams to respond to a realistic, evolving cyber attack and analyze the threat it poses to national, international, and private sector interests.
The competition has already engaged over one thousand students from universities in the United States, Europe, Indo-Pacific, and the Middle East. Students have a unique opportunity to interact with and receive feedback from expert mentors and high-level cyber professionals while developing valuable skills in policy analysis and presentation. Teams are judged based on their policy responses, decision-making processes, and oral presentation.



To be selected, teams have to submit an essay (1,000 words) dealing with a general question related to cyber policy. In their essay, teams have to demonstrate: their analytical ability, their ability to provide an original perspective on cyber policy and the diversity of their backgrounds if possible. Teams don't have to be cyber policy experts, but have to show their ability in adapting their knowledge to this new and rapidly-evolving field.


  • Day 1 : Qualifying  Round - REPORT
The qualifying round consists of 10 minute oral presentations, followed by 10 minute Q&A with the judges and feedback. Teams present the unfolding crisis and suggest a first set of responses.
  • Day 2 : Semi-Final Round - RESPOND
The semi-final round, held on day 2, gives advancing teams the opportunity to respond to a new intelligence report altering the original scenario, received at the end of day 1. The briefing format is the same as the qualifying round, with less time to prepare their responses.
  • Day 3 : Final Round - REACT
The final round, held on day 3, involves a spontaneous reaction to an intelligence report that further alters the original scenario. Teams respond to questions from the panel of judges with very little time to prepare, testing their ability to analyze information as a team and outline a response on the spot.


Who ?
  • Large businesses
  • Think-tanks
  • Trade associations
Why ?
  • To identify and recruit your future consultants/marketing managers/cybersecurity public relations managers
  • To build relationships with the academic ecosystem (science and technology, social sciences, law, international relations, …)
  • To reinforce your image and consolidate your position on digital issues
  • To communicate on your activities and influence the ecosystem
  • To benefit from privileged access to cybersecurity decision makers
How ?
  • With targeted communications on all our platforms and broadcasting tools
  • With networking opportunities adapted to your needs and access to dedicated areas
  • By being a jury member and helping choose the winner of the challenge
  • By awarding the prize during the plenary session (Elite offer only)
  • With the co-branding of a white book published after the FIC (Elite offer only)

Strategy challenge

Since 2015, the FIC has held each year technical challenges in digital investigation. In 2019, it has launched a “strategy challenge” dedicated to strategic thought on the theme of collective security in cyberspace. Participants react to a hypothetical crisis scenario unfolding after a catastrophic event - “9/12” refers to the day after September 11th, 2001, in the United States.

Organized in partnership with the Atlantic Council and the Institut Français de Géopolitique (French Institute of Geopolitics), this type of international challenge is a first in France. During the FIC 2019, the 2-day challenge brings together about forty students from various International schools and universities. A jury made up of different authorities in the field will designate the winning team, who will present its solutions in plenary before receiving a prize. After the FIC, a white paper summarizes the major issues tackled by the scenario and the solutions competing teams came up with.

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is designed to offer students across a wide range of academic disciplines a better understanding of the policy challenges associated with cyber incidents. Part interactive learning experience and part competitive scenario exercise, the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge gives students interested in cyber policy an opportunity to interact with expert mentors, judges, and cyber professionals. Students will respond to an evolving scenario involving a cyber-attack and analyze the threat it poses to state, military, and private sector interests. Teams are judged based on their policy responses, decision-making processes, and oral presentation.

The winners of the 2019 Strategy Challenge were:

1st Place / Les Chevaliers Noirs, from the United States Military Academy at West Point (coach : Erica Borghard)

2nd Place / Les Proxynettes, from the French Institute of Geopolitics at Paris-8 University (coach : Colin Gérard)