SAN ANTONIO, TX -- University of Central Florida bested nine other finalist teams to win the 2014 Raytheon National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC), held April 25-27 in San Antonio, Texas. The competition pitted the top ten college and university teams from across the country against each other to keep a fictional business running while under constant cyber-attack. Raytheon Company presented the competition, which was organized by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
More than 180 colleges and universities and 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students participated in competitions that lead up to this year's national championship, which brought together the winners of 10 regional competitions held across the nation from February through early April.
"As every sector of our society increases its reliance on networks and devices that must be protected, this competition provides practical experience to help prepare the next generation of cybersecurity leaders to defend the ever growing internet of things against increasing threats," said Jack Harrington, vice president, Cyber and Special Missions within Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. "The Raytheon National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition brings together the best of the best. Watching these teams test their skills against government and industry cyber experts gives us confidence in our economic and national security."
"This was a great finale to an amazing season," said Dwayne Williams, CIAS director of NCCDC. "Every year the competition gets bigger and better. The competitors are better prepared, the teams are stronger, and the challenges more intense. We know our stakeholders have the resources and vision to help us take the CCDC program to the next level."
Modeled from real world scenarios, the Raytheon NCCDC was the first national cyber security competition designed to test how well college students operate and manage a network infrastructure similar to the networks found in the commercial sector. At the start of the national championship on Friday, each eight-person team inherited an "operational" network for a mock online game hosting company. The teams were required to keep up with the operational needs of their business and their user demands while maintaining service level agreements for all of their critical Internet services. When they successfully completed business tasks and maintained services, the team earned points. When teams violated service level agreements, used recovery and restoration services, or when the team of government and industry cyber experts successfully penetrated a team's network, points were taken from their score.
At the end of the competition, the University of Central Florida team had earned the highest score and the right to take home the coveted Raytheon NCCDC Alamo Cup.
In addition to University of Central Florida's top finish, Rochester Institute of Technology placed second, and University of Alaska, Fairbanks placed third. The ten schools that competed at the championship were:
• University of Alaska, Fairbanks, At Large Regional CCDC Winner
• Towson University, Mid-Atlantic Regional Winner
• Northern Kentucky University, Mid-West Regional Winner
• Dakota State University, North Central Regional Winner
• Rochester Institute of Technology, Northeast Regional Winner
• Western Washington University, Pacific Rim Regional Winner
• U.S. Air Force Academy, Rocky Mountain Regional Winner
• University of Central Florida, Southeast Regional Winner
• Southern Methodist University, Southwest Regional Winner
• University of California, Berkeley, Western Regional CCDC Winner
Sponsors of the Raytheon NCCDC include government agencies, colleges and commercial companies. As presenting sponsor, leading cyber provider Raytheon provided resources such as technical guidance and employee volunteers to support the national competition, as well as various regional competitions.
Additional sponsors at the national competition included:
• Platinum sponsors: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Science and Technology, Splunk and Walmart
• National sponsors: Goldman Sachs, Strategic Cyber LLC, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), and the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)
• Gold sponsors: Boeing, FireEye, Guidance Software, Juniper Networks, and Microsoft
• Silver sponsors: U.S. Air Force Reserve, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Hospital Corporation of America, Root9B, McAfee, and Trustwave
• Other sponsors include: Akami, Amazon.com, Def-Logix, Exelis, Grantham University, Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), Synack, Tesla, and Wolfram Research
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