Northeastern University team is champ of national cyber defense competition

NCCDC Final

From left are winning Northeastern University team Kevin Amorin (coach), Weiwei Hu, Marc Held, Shawn Smith, William Nowak, Alagu Irulappan and Channing Conger with U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-Texas, Paul Nadeau (Deloitte) and Greg White (CIAS)

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(April 22, 2010)--With representatives from a variety of technology and professional firms watching, a team of security-savvy students from Northeastern University won the Alamo Cup at the 2010 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC), the nation's largest cyber security competition for college students. The University of Louisville and Cal Poly Pomona placed second and third, respectively, at the competition's finals April 16-18 at the Hilton San Antonio Airport hotel.

The UTSA Institute for Cyber Security's Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (ICS-CIAS) founded the NCCDC in 2005 to develop a pipeline for talented college students interested in pursuing cyber security careers. In just five years, the competition has lived up to that mission.

In 2009, when Cal Poly Pomona, West Coast regional champion, competed in the finals of the national competition, Boeing saw something it liked and hired all six graduating members of the team for its information technology group. Similarly, in 2010, corporate scouts were on hand to observe the working styles of the competition's finalists. And, 2010 sponsor Deloitte Consulting LLP has already signed on as the title sponsor for the 2011 competition.

"We're very happy to support the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. The competition is a great opportunity for the students to experience 'real life' cyber challenges in a positive, competitive environment, and we see tremendous opportunities in bringing together academia, the private sector and consumers to advance the cause of this competition," said Paul Nadeau, principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Each year, the NCCDC challenges college students to manage and protect the network of a fictitious business while warding off a live Red Team trying to penetrate the company. Teams earn points by maintaining required services and successfully completing business tasks affecting the company's network. They lose points when the Red Team penetrates their network.

"There is a balancing act between keeping services up and running, and responding to the needs of a business," said Dwayne Williams, NCCDC director. "Northeastern's team consistently provided top-notch performance in maintaining the required operational services and responded well to business requirements."

More than 650 students from 83 universities participated in this year's NCCDC program. The competition's five other finalists were DePaul University, Montana Tech, Texas A&M, Towson University and University of Washington.

Learn about the 2011 Deloitte National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at the National CCDC website or contact Dwayne Williams at 210-458-2173.