Thirteen students just a day before Friday 13th – the stage was set for some serious bad luck, but the Delft University students that visited ENCS recently were quite fortunate indeed.

ENCS hosted an exciting ‘Hack the Grid’ event at their offices in The Hague. In a realistic simulation, the students were pitted against each other in two teams.

One team was required to try and perform a cyber-attack on the realistically-modelled energy company’s ICS and IT infrastructure, while their adversaries tried to defend the networks. ENCS security specialists guided the teams, giving them insights into the mindsets of hackers as well as strategies to detect and respond to them.

Though the lights did go out at one point, the defenders eventually won the day, repelling the attackers and securing the network.

With the energy sector facing a sizeable skills gap, we’re proud at ENCS to help the next generation of cyber security talent get to grips with the unique challenges of the smart grid.

It wasn’t all bad luck for the attacking team though: the event ended with beer and pizza where the students were able to share the lessons they had learned and ask ENCS specialists further questions.