Southeast Cybersecurity Team Bests Six-State Field, Advances to Midwest Regional CCDC

STA-CybersecurityCAPE GIRARDEAU, Missouri, Feb. 26, 2015 – Cybersecurity students at Southeast Missouri State University took first place Feb. 7 among 20 cybersecurity teams from six states vying for a spot in the 2015 Midwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) next month.

The Southeast team now advances to and will take on 12 teams at the 2015 Midwest Regional CCDC March 27-28 at Moraine Valley Community College in Chicago. The winner of the Midwest Regional CCDC will compete at the 2015 National CCDC April 24-26 in San Antonio, Texas.

Eight Southeast students majoring in cybersecurity participated in the all-day virtual competition during which college teams from Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky connected remotely to a cyber stadium in Chicago.

Dr. Vijay Anand, director of Southeast Missouri State University’s cybersecurity program, faculty advisor to Southeast’s cybersecurity team and assistant professor of industrial and engineering technology at Southeast, said placing first among 20 schools from such a large region is an extraordinary feat.

“It’s a great thing for our University to place first in the competition. It brings recognition to our school at a regional and national level,” Anand said. “As a new program, this kind of recognition is very good. I am also very happy that we have some amazing students who have put in a lot of effort towards this competition. I am very proud of them.

Winning the competition, he added, “reflects on the quality and dedication of our students to excel. Our program provides a high quality framework within ethical boundaries to be competitive that will eventually help students graduating from this program to pursue a meaningful and lucrative career.”

The competition is designed to test each student team’s ability to secure a networked computer system while maintaining standard business functionality, Anand said.

“The scenario involved team members simulating a group of employees from an IT (information technology) service company initiating administration of an IT infrastructure. The teams are expected to manage the computer network, keep it operational and prevent unauthorized access,” he said. “Each team is expected to maintain and provide public services: a web site, a secure web site, an email server, a database server, an online curriculum server and workstations used by simulated sales, marketing, and research staff as per company policy and mission.”

Southeast’s team began preparing for the competition in December.

“We had our tasks identified sometime in late November, and the team had been meeting regularly since then,” Anand said.