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Texas A&M, Millersville U, Tops in Cyber Defense Contest

Texas A&M University and Millersville University of Pennsylvania finished first and second in the second-annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), a contest to find which team could do the best job maintaining a business network that was under a simulated cyber attack.

The mid-April contest was hosted by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at the University of Texas at San Antonio. It featured four teams of graduate and undergraduate students who were scored on their ability to operate and maintain a business network while under hostile cyber attack.

"It was a great experience that was very professionally done," said Rusty Redden, the Texas A&M team captain. "We felt good going into the final day of competition and were able to lock it down on Sunday."

The teams were given an mock network from a fictitious business with e-mail, websites, data files, and users. They were scored on their ability to correct problems on the network, perform typical business tasks and defend the networks from a red team that generates live, hostile activity.

At a closing ceremony, Cheri McGuire, deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division, said universities were vital to the defense of U.S. networks. She added that the CCDC competition were important as they give students a realistic, hands-on experience that complements their classroom work.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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