UTSA infrastructure security center hosts collegiate cyber security competition

UTSA infrastructure security center hosts collegiate cyber security competition
UTSA infrastructure security center hosts collegiate cyber security competition 

By Christi Fish
Public Affairs Specialist
UTSA Today
April 15, 2010

Eight teams of college students from across the country will compete 
this month for the Alamo Cup at the finals of the nation's largest 
collegiate cyber security competition, the fifth annual National 
Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC).

The April 16-18 national competition at the Hilton San Antonio Airport 
hotel was founded in San Antonio 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 NCCDC 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 an "operational" network from a 
fictional business that includes e-mail, Web sites, data files and 

While the competitors are given minimal information about the network, 
its security levels and its software, they are given a few frantic 
minutes to familiarize themselves with their new networks before a live 
Red Team starts actively scanning and probing their companies.

Scoring is determined by how well the 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 successfully completing business tasks and 
maintaining services.

They lose points by violating service-level agreements, and 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.

Eight teams will compete at this year's national championship including:

    * DePaul University (Ill.): 2010 Midwest Regional CCDC Winner
    * *Northeastern University (Mass.): 2010 Northeast Regional CCDC 
    * Montana Tech: 2010 North Central Regional CCDC Winner
    * University of Louisville (Ky.): 2010 Southeast Regional CCDC 
    * *Texas A&M University, College Station: 2010 Southwest Regional 
      CCDC Winner
    * Towson University (Md.): 2010 Mid-Atlantic Regional CCDC Winner
    * *University of Washington: 2010 Pacific Rim Regional CCDC Winner
    * *Cal Poly Pomona (Calif.): 2010 West Coast Regional CCDC Winner

* Denotes 2009 national competitor

"The CIAS is committed to establishing a pipeline of highly qualified 
students who are interested in pursuing cyber security careers," said 
Dwayne Williams, NCCDC director. "Through the competition, students with 
an interest in cyber security are challenged and evaluated on processes, 
procedures and tactics. This gives them invaluable practical experience 
and makes them more marketable when they go to apply for jobs following 
graduation. At the same time, the experience gives U.S. colleges and 
universities a chance to evaluate their cyber security curriculum and 
make changes to keep up with the demands of the industry."

The NCCDC has grown tremendously in its first five years. In 2005, the 
competition began with five participating schools. This year, 83 
colleges and universities participated in eight regions. In the Midwest 
region, organizers held four state competitions to narrow the field for 
its regional challenge.

Competition sponsors include a variety of businesses in the information 
security, information technology, broadband and publishing industries in 
addition to a group of San Antonio businesses. The major sponsors 
include the Department of Homeland Security, TASC Inc., Boeing, Core 
Security, Microsoft Security Response Center, Science Applications 
International Corp, Wolfram Research, McAfee, Northrop Grumman, 
Accenture, Dynetics, Innove and Denim Group.

For more information about the cyber security competition, visit the 
National CCDC Web site or contact Dwayne Williams, CIAS, at 

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