Monday, June 12, 2017

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County captures the Alamo Cup at UTSA's National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

UMBC protected a small business network from a simulated cyber attack, beating 10 teams from across the country

UMBC protected a small business network from a simulated cyber attack, beating 10 teams from across the country.


(April 17, 2017) -- A team of bright young cybersecurity students from The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) defeated nine other finalist teams to win the 2017 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) to become national champions. The University of Tulsa and Brigham Young University placed second and third, respectively at the competition's finals, held April 13-15 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

The winning team advanced from one of 10 regional competitions across the nation to face off against groups of other cybersecurity student to protect a network against constant cyber attacks. More than 230 colleges and universities participated in regional competitions that led to this year's national championship.

The NCCDC was founded in 2005 by the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), with the mission of developing a pipeline for talented college students interested in pursuing cybersecurity careers. The event has been so successful at developing promising opportunities for students that the CIAS now has an important rule: Job offers must wait until the competition is over.

Modeled after real-world scenarios, NCCDC was the first national cybersecurity competition to test how well college students operate and manage a network infrastructure similar to the networks found in the commercial sector. In this year's National Championship, the competing teams worked to secure a multi-site retail corporation with 160 employees, point of sale systems, inventory systems, and other systems you find in a typical retail company.

"The NCCDC program brings academia, government and industry together in a unique way," said Dwayne Williams, director of the NCCDC. "Everyone recognizes we need to find and train more cyber professionals and these competitions absolutely help to meet that need."

"This is the fourth year we have been the title sponsor of NCCDC and watching these students practice their skills in real-life business scenarios gives me confidence we are growing the workforce-ready cyber talent that will meet the future demands of this important field," said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. "Congratulations to The University of Maryland, Baltimore County for a job well done."

Seven other teams competed in this weekend's national competition including University of Alaska Fairbanks, DePaul University, Montana Tech, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Washington Seattle, University of South Alabama and California State University Northridge.

At the end of the competition, the UMBC team earned the highest score and took home the coveted NCCDC Alamo Cup. Raytheon will bring the winning team to Washington, D.C., this summer to tour some of the nation's top research and national cybersecurity sites.

UTSA is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world and among the top 100 in the nation, according to Times Higher Education.

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Learn more about The National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

Learn more about the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security.

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