Alice and Bob at CYBERUK 2017

May 2017

If you were at the recent CYBERUK 2017 event in Liverpool then there’s a good chance that you may already have met Alice and Bob. For those who weren’t able to attend what was the “UK Government’s biggest and most influential IA and Cyber Security event to date” then allow me to introduce them.

Alice and Bob at CYBERUK in practiceAlice and Bob are our animated characters, who work in unnamed parts of the UK Government and experience different problems on a day-to-day basis with the secure exchange of information within the different domains that they and their colleagues work on.

We have used the characters to showcase common scenarios that people working in government, defence and critical national infrastructure organisations need to overcome in managing cross-domain environments. Often information is held on a variety of different networks for operational reasons (such as different sites or departments) or security purposes (such as classification levels).

You may have already picked up on the nod to cryptology referencing in which fictional characters are used to portray scenarios with Alice and Bob being used rather than A and B.

Bob first appeared in a video last year to highlight how adopting a cross domain solution to get information into and out of secure networks was a more efficient, effective and secure method than using USB sticks and CDs.

Why were Alice and Bob at CYBERUK 2017?

CYBERUK 2017 was the NCSC’s new flagship event for all things cyber security in the UK, as it implements its strategy to make the UK the safest country in the world to do business online. As an official cyber security supplier to the UK Government and a provider of high assurance solutions, it was the perfect place for Nexor to exhibit.

There was a lot going on at the 3-day conference and NCSC Technical Director Ian Levy has summarised the event in this blog post on the NCSC website.

As part of the more informal atmosphere that NCSC were attempting to foster at the conference, the traditional “Hack the Flag” contest was replaced with the “CyberGames” – a wider ranging contest to allow more participants to try their hand at cracking a series of cyber security tests or activities. Nexor, along with the likes of Roke, NCC and BAE Applied Intelligence put on a series of challenges for the conference delegates.

Alice and Bob’s Cyber Challenge

The spirit of the CyberGames was a perfect chance for Alice and Bob to take the event by storm. So, we devised a challenge that involved them taking part in the social media side of the conference at #CYBERUK17.

If you want to take the challenge then you can have a look back at the tweets @CyberSecAlice and @CyberSecBob created. To solve the challenge, you’ll need to find the password that one of them accidentally leaked. Can you find it?

The #CYBERUK17 experience

Alice and Bob had a very busy conference, finding out all about the NCSC’s latest thinking and guidance, hearing case studies from a range of government departments and seeing the latest industry thinking on how to improve security.

Alice proved particularly popular on Twitter and her support for the @Stemettes keynote speech from founder Anne-Marie Imafidon, went viral and ended up in the Top 15 most popular event tweets!

Most importantly of all for any conference was the chance for Alice and Bob to get a good cup of tea at the appropriately named Alice and Bob Tea Rooms.

What next for Alice and Bob?

The pair have been having a well-deserved rest over the last few weeks, but you will be able to see more of them again very soon.

Following on from Bob’s video showcasing how to overcome cross-domain problems, there are reports that Alice is currently “on location”. The news is that she’s making a video that looks at how Nexor has used segregated browse technologies to help her overcome the complication of using multiple terminals for multiple network domains – the dreaded swivel-chair approach!

So, watch this space …

Author Bio - Kevin Spencer

Kevin SpencerKevin Spencer was the Marketing Communications Manager at Nexor. He helped spread the message about how Nexor can help deliver trusted secure information solutions to governments, defence and critical national infrastructure organisations around the globe.


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