Cyber Storm: International Conference


International Conference: Research & Education for the Cyber Storm 18-20 February 2019

Including one-day research conference (open to the public), one-day policy workshop, and one-day table top exercise (the last two events by invitation)

UNSW Canberra Cyber, Australia’s premier centre for the interdisciplinary study of cyber security and the campus Research Group on Cyber War and Peace, will convene an international conference in February 2019 on the “Cyber Storm.” Australia’s former Minister of Cyber Security, Hon. Dan Tehan, warned in November 2016, of the need for the country to prepare for a cyber storm, even if it was an unlikely contingency. One view of the Cyber Storm sees it as the contingencies arising from protracted and complex, multi-vector, multi-wave, multi-theatre attacks against cyber assets. Such assets can include critical civil infrastructure, military C4ISTAR, computerised systems in weapons platforms, and even other civilian targets of military or national security significance. This conference will concentrate on the role universities and professional education institutions, such as military colleges, can play to address the unique challenges of workforce formation for the Cyber Storm.

For middle powers like Australia, immense challenges exist in framing education and training solutions for these contingencies, as the research foundations on which these policy responses depend, are very weakly developed, or even non-existent. This is especially case in the sub-field of simulations. The conventional wisdom, or at least the dominant practice, has been that the knowledge, skills and abilities needed would be acquired “on the job” in highly classified environments. There has been little space for open-source research and therefore minimal open-source education and teaching. This scholarly conference will discuss research papers on these subjects by leading specialists from universities, professional colleges, think tanks, government, and industry. The academic portion of the conference will not have any special national focus, but papers that can address the U.S. experience or that of middle powers like Australia will be highly regarded. The academic portion will be followed by a one-day invitation-only policy workshop to give strategic planners in government, the armed forces and business the opportunity to reflect on practical recommendations arising from the scholarly research.

International Call for Papers

Researchers interested in this subject are invited to submit proposals for a paper. Authors of all papers accepted will be fully funded for participation in the conference held at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), with campuses in Sydney and Canberra. UNSW is Australia’s premier cyber research university, with around 60 researchers working on aspects of cyber policy or cyber security science and technology. Its Canberra campus is collocated with the Australian Defence Force Academy. The conference is the second in a series following a successful convening in November 2017 under the rubric, “Realigning Cyber Security Education”, in partnership with the Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The consideration of paper proposals will be led by Professor Greg Austin, convenor of the Research Group on Cyber War and Peace, and Michael Klipstein, PhD, Research Scientist at the U.S. Army Cyber Institute. Initial proposals should include a 600 word abstract, an additional list of primary references, and be accompanied by a standard academic CV. Papers should be between 6,000 and 9,000 words (with the smaller word limit preferred). Proposals should be submitted to

All funded paper presenters will be invited to participate in the one-day policy workshop to follow the academic conference on the next day. Paper presenters will also be welcome to participate in or observe the table-top exercise on the 20 February 2019. The research conference on 18 February will be open to the public. Registrations for that will open in Novermber. The Policy Workshop (19 February) and Table Top Exercise (20 February) will be by invitation only, though qualified professionals and researchers with an interest in theose two events should contact Greg Austin. The organisers will publish proceedings in an edited volume or another acdemic outlet.

Draft Agenda (to be be amended according to submissions).

Keynote (30mns) 8am

Plenary 1: 2 speakers on research about the “future cyber storm” (75 mns)

Plenary 2: 2 speakers with research on operational needs in a cyber storm (one on military, one on civil infrastructure) (75 mns)

Concurrent Workshop #1: 2 speakers with research papers on military education and training to meet operational needs in cyber storm (60 mns... in parallel with Workshop #2)

Concurrent Workshop #2: 2 speakers with research papers on university education and training to meet civil sector operational needs in cyber storm. (60 mns)


ConcurrentWorkshop #3: 2 speakers with research papers on simulation construction (60 mns)

Concurrent Workshop #4: 2 speakers with research papers on management structures for cyber storm focussing on educating for advanced situational awareness (60 mns)

Plenary 3: 2 speakers with. Research papers on national security policy for human capital development for the cyber storm (75 mns)

Final Plenary: wrap up and review (co-chaired by Klipstein and Austin)