(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 users.
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:
* 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.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.
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