International cyber competition tests Defence

30 Signal Regiment came first in a long week competition with more than 500 personnel taking part in the cyber exercise last week, 12-18 February.

They were followed by a combined team from 3, 6 and 7 Military Intelligence Battalions in second place with 10 Signal Regiment in third.

Defence Cyber Marvel is an annual competition for the military staff from across all three services - Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force - as well as teams of soldiers from other countries. The competition tested the skills of the participants to stop potential cyber attacks against the UK.

The soldiers were split into teams tasked with performing defence in simulated scenarios of cyber attacks and information warfare. These activities carry potentially damaging and disrupting consequences to any country’s cyber structure, economy and day to day services; from banking and government websites to power grid interferences.

Army officer and computer expert Captain (Capt) Olivia Flaherty, 28, played a key role in the competition to test the military’s ability to counter potentially lethal cyber-attacks – signalling a step-change in the modernisation of the UK Armed Forces for information warfare.  

Capt Flaherty said: “My role on the exercise was the co-ordination and control of the Red Team in order to simulate a threat that the Blue team can experience.

“We’ve had several objectives we needed to achieve throughout the exercise, and we needed to ensure that our effects against the Blue Team are fair and provide an experience that we can learn from.

“Our Red team was focused on the Blue Team’s development and part of that was to ensure that the effects we conducted on the blue team matched their skill level.

Capt Flaherty continued: “There was no point completely destroying the network of the Blue Team as it provided no training value, so I focused on managing the effects the teams deliver and ensure that the teams are hitting the objectives we have set.’

Defence Cyber Marvel is part of plans to ensure cyber training continuity for the current service personnel, as well as future generations of soldiers.