CDE themed competition: automating cyber defence responses

Further information on this Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) competition for £1 million research funding.


Competition document: automating cyber defence responses

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Feedback will be sent on 10 December 2014. Please note that feedback is sent by post by our Commercial department, so you can expect to receive your letter within 1 week of the send date. If feedback hasn’t arrived within 2 weeks of the send date, please contact us at

Total funding available under this competition is £1 million.

Competition closes on Thursday 23 October 2014 at 5pm.


Our armed forces rely on cyberspace to conduct successful operations and it must be assumed that adversaries seek to disrupt our systems.

Ministry of Defence (MOD) systems are complex, dynamic and often used in environments with unique threats. Once a system is compromised, a cyber attack can quickly escalate, so automated responses are an essential part of cyber defence processes. However, we must make sure that humans can still make decisions on defensive responses where appropriate.

An automated cyber defence response includes collecting information, identifying the attack, analysing potential courses of action and then responding.

In this Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) themed competition we seek proof-of-concept research proposals for tools and techniques that support the planning and carrying out of responses to threats to our systems.

Solutions must:

  • consider both permanent infrastructure and deployed systems
  • consider different responses, including allowing for human intervention
  • identify defensive actions, processes and tactics to allow decisions to be made
  • offer a significant improvement over the capability of current products and technologies

Successful bids will identify and justify where automation offers improvements in cyber defence, while recognising that the user may wish to revert to human decision making. Solutions must contribute to understanding what is happening and demonstrate how an appropriate course of action / cyber defence response has been selected.

View the presentation slides that were briefed at the event.

Technical team email:

Centre for Defence Enterprise

Building R103
Fermi Avenue

Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX

Please email for the quickest response.

Published 27 August 2014
Last updated 27 August 2014 + show all updates
  1. Version 2 of the competition document has been published. Changes to the document have been highlighted in green.
  2. First published.
  3. Competition document is now available.