Cybersecurity Students Place Second at Midwest Regional CCDC

cybersecurity team with trophyCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 1, 2014 — Cybersecurity students at Southeast Missouri State University took second place over the weekend at the 2014 Midwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) March 28-29 at Moraine Valley Community College in Chicago.

Southeast’s team advanced to the competition after taking first place for the second straight year at the Missouri Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Feb. 22.

“For our students, it is great accomplishment to place in a very tough competition only in the second year,” said Dr. Vijay Anand, faculty advisor and team mentor.

Southeast improved at this year’s Midwest Regional CCDC after finishing unranked in the 2013 competition. Northern Kentucky University took first place at this year’s Midwest Regional CCDC in which teams representing nine states participated – Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Kentucky.

Northern Kentucky now advances to the 2014 National CCDC April 25-27 in San Antonio, Texas

Eight Southeast freshmen through seniors majoring in cybersecurity participated in the Midwest Regional CCDC. Southeast team members included Jeremy Wiedner of Imperial, Mo., Blynn Atchley of Malden, Mo., Charles Harner of Joppa, Ill., Melanie Thiemann of Wentzville, Mo., Nick Howe of Malden, Mo., Jolynn Hallmark of Andover, Kan., Tyler Morgan of Waterloo, Ill., and George Papulis of Ballwin, Mo. Serving as an alternate was Zachary Peek.

The competition was designed to test each student team’s ability to secure a networked computer system while maintaining standard business functionality, according to the competition team pack guidelines.The teams were expected to manage a computer network, keep it operational and prevent unauthorized access. The objective of the competition was to measure a team’s ability to maintain secure computer network operations in a simulated business environment. Student teams were scored on the basis of their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, including cyber attack, while maintaining availability of existing network services such as mail and web servers, respond to business requests such as the addition or removal of additional services, and balance security against varying business needs.

The event included 10 “blue teams” representing the competing institutions, a “white team,” which was the management team and a “red team,” which served as hackers.

The Cyber Defense Club is a student organization at Southeast. The club is open to all majors with an interest in cybersecurity and currently has members from both cybersecurity and computer science. The group was launched to connect students to companies and professionals in the field of cyber defense. A second goal is to provide students with experiential learning opportunities, such as this competition.

The cybersecurity program at Southeast began in fall 2011 and is designed to educate students in the existing and emerging challenges in the security and privacy of the cyber infrastructure. There are currently more than 100 students majoring in cybersecurity at Southeast. The University is the first program in Missouri to offer its graduates a Bachelor of Science with a modifier of cybersecurity.

Those interested in the cybersecurity program at Southeast, the Cyber Defense Club or the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition can contact Anand at vanand@semo.edu.