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CIAS hosts regional cyber defense competition

(April 11, 2005)--The UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) hosts the first Southwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition April 15-17 on the 1604 Campus.

The competition features 40 participants representing The University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of North Texas and Del Mar College. The eight-member teams will focus on the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure.

"We are pleased that our cyber security scholars can host a program in which students will demonstrate their problem-solving and leadership skills," said Joe Stafford, UTSA vice president for research and graduate studies.

Each team will be given a fictional operational business network with e-mail, Web sites, data files and computer users. Scoring will be based on each team's ability to correct network problems, perform business tasks and defend their networks from hostile cyber attacks.

"San Antonio has a rich history of cyber-security operations and research, and with the presence of the Air Force's Computer Emergency Response Team and Information Warfare Center, UTSA is a logical location to host a cyber competition," said Greg White, CIAS interim director. "This particular competition features security, but emphasizes maintaining the operational use of a network."

The competition is sponsored by Cisco Systems, Northrop Grumman, Harcourt, Acronis and the Alamo chapter of the Information Systems Security Association.

UTSA is the first Texas university and one of 59 in the nation with the "Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education" designation by the National Security Agency (NSA).

The designation means UTSA's curriculum and faculty meet or exceed NSA standards to teach information-assurance security and makes the university eligible to apply for grants from NSA and the National Science Foundation.

CIAS is part of UTSA's newly created Institute for the Protection of American Communities (IPAC), an institute established to provide technical expertise and solutions to security challenges faced by communities.

"As an Hispanic-serving institution, UTSA is a leader in training the scientists of tomorrow who will provide a well-educated and technologically advanced work force to support San Antonio's growing $13 billion health-care and biosciences industry," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "Federal funding for programs like this is essential in the university's pursuit to become a premier research university."

For more information, contact Greg White at (210) 458-6307.

--Kris Rodriguez

University Communications
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