College students gather for cyber defense competition nationals April 8-10

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(April 7, 2011)--Nine teams of college students from across the nation will compete this weekend at the finals of the nation's largest collegiate cyber security competition, the sixth annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) presented by Deloitte. The national competition, April 8-10 at the Hilton San Antonio Airport hotel, was founded by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), a nationally recognized leader in cyber security education and training and part of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security.

The CCDC is the first practical, cyber-security competition designed to test how well students operate and manage a network infrastructure, similar to the networks found in the commercial sector. At the start of the competition, each team inherits a simulated operational network for a fictional business that includes email, websites, data files and users. Competitors are given minimal information about the network, its security levels and its software. A few minutes later, a live Red Team starts scanning and probing their companies.

The competition's scoring is determined by how well teams keep up with the operational needs of their businesses and their user demands while maintaining service level agreements for all critical Internet services. Teams accumulate points by completing business tasks and maintaining services. They lose points by violating service level agreements, recovery and restoration usage services, and when the Red Team successfully penetrates their network.

At the end of the competition, the team with the highest score is named the national champion. Nine teams will compete at this year's national championship:

  • Indiana Tech, 2011 Midwest Regional CCDC winner
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (N.Y.), 2011 Northeast Regional CCDC winner
  • University of Wyoming, 2011 North Central Regional CCDC winner
  • University of Louisville (Ky.), 2011 Southeast Regional CCDC winner *
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, 2011 Southwest Regional CCDC winner *
  • University of Maryland College Park, 2011 Mid-Atlantic Regional CCDC winner
  • University of Washington, Seattle, 2011 Pacific Rim Regional CCDC winner *
  • Cal Poly Pomona (Calif.), 2011 West Coast Regional CCDC winner *
  • United States Air Force Academy, 2011 At-Large Regional CCDC winner

* 2010 national competitor

"In six years of operation, the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition has grown from five teams to more than 100 teams representing nine regions across the country," said Dwayne Williams, NCCDC director. "We are particularly grateful for our partnership with Deloitte LLP, the title sponsor of this year's competition. By partnering with Deloitte, we have been able to raise national awareness of the shortage of cyber security professionals available for public and private sector employment. We are extremely grateful to Deloitte for its support in this critical outreach program."

In addition to Deloitte, sponsors of the 2011 NCCDC include a variety of businesses in the information security, information technology, broadband and publishing industries, and a group of San Antonio businesses. This year's major sponsors include the Department of Homeland Security, Red Lambda, McAfee, Core Security, Zynga, Splunk, Rapid7, Microsoft Security Response Center, Science Applications International Corp., Boeing, Trustwave, Opswat, Northrop Grumman, AFCEA, ISSA, Vic Helbling Consulting, and Denim Group.

For more information about the 2011 competition, visit the National CCDC website or contact Dwayne Williams, CIAS, at 210-458-2173.