Cydarm Partners with Retrospect Labs To Support Australian Women in Security Network Incident Response Competition

Cydarm, a provider of case management solutions for cyber incident response, has partnered with Retrospect Labs, a company that specialises in cyber security exercises, helping companies improve their security posture and resilience through realistic and meaningful exercises, to support the 2022 Australian Women in Security Network Response Competition.

The week-long, national incident style response exercise competition run by Retrospect Labs is being held for the second consecutive year from 7-14 November.  It aims to test the skills and support the career development of 250 women across all aspects of cyber incident response, from technical remediation and forensics through to security breach reporting and legal requirements.

Each team will be presented with the simulation of a real-world cyber incident exercise developed by Retrospect Labs which will be enabled, enhanced and rolled out to remotely, distributed and located participants using Gauntlet, Retrospect Labs’ cyber security exercise platform. Cydarm’s case management platform will be available for use by participants to enable team collaboration during incident response activity.

Five participants in each team will be composed of individuals with different knowledge foundations and expertise.  Indeed, in order to ensure that the competition is as fair as possible, teams will be made up of women based on their individual, self-identified strengths. Teams can move through the competition at their own pace completing tasks along the way, communicate via a Slack channel and access a mentor to support their journey through the exercises at their own moment of need.

The competition will include forensic artefacts that participants can analyse to identify various Indicators of Compromise (IoCs), as well as understand what malicious activities have occurred and how the adversary undertook those activities, including their tactics, techniques and procedures. Teams will have to use common industry tooling, like Cydarm’s case management platform, to investigate, analyse, record, and report on their findings.

Reflecting all the elements of a cyber security incident, teams will also be required to perform tasks that relate to managing the media, providing communications to senior leadership, and providing legal and privacy considerations in response to the incident. Teams will be evaluated on their performance and across the various tasks completed.

Jill Taylor, Head of Marketing at Cydarm

Jill Taylor, Head of Marketing, Cydarm, said, “The rise in significant data breaches and ransomware attacks have raised public awareness about the importance of securing systems and data. However, according to AustCyber, we’ll need an additional 17,000 cybersecurity workers by 2026 to shore up public and private defences.

While recent years have seen the launch of a string of certificates, diplomas and qualifications in higher education, providing access to real-world software and scenarios is a vital component of up-skilling current and potential employees. Cydarm is committed to supporting people and processes in security operations in ways that solve today’s problems, and we’re excited to support the Australian Women in Security Network and Retrospect Labs in building a diverse, highly skilled workforce.”

Ryan Janosevic, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Retrospect Labs

Ryan Janosevic, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Retrospect Labs, said, “We train teams in all parts of incident response, from forensic analysis to legal, communications and media requirements. We are delighted to be able to run this competition for the second year in a row, applying our skills and knowledge to help the nation encourage more women to progress with their careers in cybersecurity and to give women a hands-on opportunity to experience incident response.

As in any industry, we need to constantly ensure that the workplace is diverse, welcoming, empathetic and open to a multitude of skill sets while also ensuring that women who are either already in the industry or who are considering entering the industry, have the opportunity to acquire new skills and feel both empowered and confident in their careers. This competition truly reflects this sentiment.“

The competition’s judges this year include Shanna Daly (Cosive), Kevin O’Sullivan (Kinetic IT), Christine Eikenhout (Australian Cyber Security Centre) and Karen Croughan (an experienced Privacy professional).  In addition, the competition is also being supported with event sponsors, including the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Commonwealth Bank (CBA).

The winning team will be announced during a virtual closing ceremony on the 29th of November. Prizes include one-on-one mentoring sessions with senior executives in both ASD and CBA for the top-placed teams, as well as access to additional training, AWSN membership, and more.