Baylor’s cyber security student team earns place at nationals
In just their second year of competing in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), Baylor’s student cyber security team is headed to nationals as one of the top 10 teams in the nation!
Last month, 13 students on the Baylor University Cyber Security Student Organization (AKA CyberSec) took first place in the regional Southwest CCDC. The big win takes eight of those students — seniors Jack Swenson, Bogdan Pyzh, Connor Shride, Brendon Kelley, Dalton Wright and Michael Eamma, and master’s candidates Nathaniel Stickney and Zack Jordan — to the National CCDC in Orlando April 13-15, where they’ll face nine other teams from across the nation.
What does a cyber defense competition look like, you ask? In each event, student teams take on administrative and protective duties for an existing “commercial” network — typically a small company with at least 50 users, 7-10 servers, and common Internet services such as a web server, mail server and e-commerce site. Teams are scored on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain availability of existing services, respond to requests to add or remove additional services, and balance security needs against business needs — all while preventing sensitive data from being leaked.
“The team works incredibly hard to prepare for CCDC competition,” says Dr. Jeff Donahoo, BS ’91, MS ’93, a Baylor computer science professor and coach of the BU Cyber Security team. “We practice together for five hours every week, and each member then spends additional time on their own to develop their specific capabilities. To train, we have built a system where we can attack hackers without damaging campus systems.”
As data breaches and other IT security issues continue to make headlines, these Bears could very well be the ones creating the security measures of tomorrow to protect us all.
Sic ’em, Baylor CyberSec!