Cybersecurity Students Place Third at Midwest Regional CCDC

CCDC-team-photo (3) 2015CAPE GIRARDEAU, Missouri, April 13, 2015 — Cybersecurity students at Southeast Missouri State University took third place at the 2015 Midwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) March 27-28 at Moraine Valley Community College in Chicago.

Southeast’s team advanced to the competition after taking first place for the third straight year at the Missouri Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Feb. 7.

The competition also offered Cybersecurity Team members the opportunity to network with companies interested in hiring cybersecurity graduates.

“Some students have gotten interview calls from the company representatives they met at this competition,” said Dr. Vijay Anand, director of Southeast Missouri State University’s cybersecurity program, faculty advisor to Southeast’s cybersecurity team and assistant professor in the Department of Polytechnic Studies at Southeast,

Students participating on the team were: Charles Harner (Team Captain) of Grand Chain, Illinois; JoLynn Hallmark of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Joe Surmeier of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Bethany Joiner of Sparta, Illinois; Josh Kapp of St. Louis, Missouri; Zach Peek of Aviston, Illinois; Tusita Gunaratne of Negombo; Melanie Thiemann of Wentzville, Missouri; Larry Blynn Atchley of Malden, Missouri; Nicholas Howe of Malden, Missouri; and Joshua Fairchild of Potosi, Missouri.

Anand commended the students on their accomplishment.

“I am extremely proud of the dedication and hard work our team put in to rise to this level of the competition,” he said. “Participating in these high level contests allows us to benchmark our abilities against other students in the field and to identify areas to master for next year’s competition. Much of our preparation in the months ahead, both inside and outside of class, will focus on networking elements.

“Given the competition, the students performed well. Any of the top three teams could have won the competition,” Anand added.

Last year, Southeast finished second after improving from being unranked at the 2013 Midwest Regional CCDC competition. DePaul University took first place at this year’s Midwest Regional CCDC in which teams representing nine states participated – Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“With respect to past competitions, it was nearly equal to last year’s regional competition. The results were a toss-up, and we have to work on some things for next year,” said Anand.

The competition consisted of seven focus areas: Business Scenario, Password Policy, Perimeter Protection, File System Security, Logging and Auditing, and Reporting and Internal Protection. Each focus area featured a prompt with a problem that the team was responsible for resolving. Southeast’s team will now begin preparing for the state competition in 2016.