MUST Wins the Cyber Security Most Creative Policy Response Award in US

MUST Cyber Technophiles was the only African team at the contest MUST Cyber Technophiles was the only African team at the contest - pic courtesy of MUST

Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) Cyber Technophiles has won a Most Creative Policy Response award at a two-day Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge in Washington DC, America.

According to the team's coach and computer science lecturer, Allan Chongwe, though they have not made it to the top three rankings, they were recognised among 31 others for doing very well in the technical aspect of the cyber scenario.

"This was the toughest involving four US Military institutions and other top ranking universities. But we tried our best and managed to get an award beating the other 31 teams," said Chongwe.

He added: "We did not do well in areas such as international relations and international law/policy but did very well in the technical aspect of the cyber scenario at hand."

About 90 judges which included former FBI officers, US state advisors on cyber security related issues and academicians, ranked Cyber Super Girls (CSG) from Stanford University as the top winner, while Golden Mules from United States Military Academy as a runner-up and Keep Comm and Cyber On (KCCO) from Air Command and Staff College, came third.

Apart from the MUST, other individual awards went to Black Knights of the US Military Academy (Best Written Brief) and Duke CyberDevils of Duke University (Best Oral Presentation).

On lessons, Chongwe explained that, "For the students, the competition was a great way to gain real-world experience and hone their skills in a challenging and dynamic environment. It's encouraging to see teams from around the world participating and working together to address the complex cybersecurity challenges we face today.”

MUST Cyber Technophiles was the only African team at the contest after winning the 2022 edition of the regional Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge in Cape Town in September 2022.

The event was held on March 17 and 18, 2023 at the American University College of Law and the MUST team battled other 31 teams, 10 of which participated virtually.

Cyber Technophiles was, among others, supported by the Skills for a Vibrant Economy (SAVE) project at MUST and FDH Bank with the project paying for visas and air tickets while the bank contributed towards the team’s upkeep.

The team is expected back in Malawi on Monday afternoon.

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