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Majors & Degrees

DSU retains top position at National Cyber League

January 28, 2015

For the second year in a row, the Dakota State University cyber security team, Tr0janHorse, secured the top position in the National Cyber League (NCL) competition, beating out 85 other teams. The NCL provides a cyber security training environment that requires students to solve real problems with actual deadlines under enormous time, and in some cases, technical resource constraints.

In his second year participating in the NCL, Andrew Kramer, a DSU senior cyber operation major from Etna, Calif., took first place for the 2014 Regular Season games, which are individual-based competitions.

“I’m originally from a tiny town in far-northern California, but I moved out to South Dakota in 2013 to attend DSU, because computer security is my passion,” stated Kramer.

Another DSU senior cyber operations major from Hector Minn. snagged second place during the 2014 Regular Season. Also in his second year, Alexander Gartner started participating in the NCL after a DSU faculty member recommended the competition to him during freshman orientation.

“I like NCL because the challenges aren’t particularly difficult nor time consuming, but still require that you understand how computer systems work,” said Gartner.

Other DSU team members that participated during the 2014 NCL season include: Christopher Paschen from Clark S.D.; Jeremiah Klumb from Mount Vernon, S.D.; Tyler Gross from Volga, S.D.; Bryce Haviland from Worthing, S.D.; William Hofer from Pierre, S.D.; Benjamin Cable from Minneapolis, Minn.; Austin Dirks from Ellsworth, Minn.; Chad Horack from Washington, N.J.; Joshua Klosterman from Brandon, S.D.; William Boldt from Madison, S.D.; Otis Enoch from West Coving, Calif.; Thanousay Khamphoune from Warroad, Minn.; Sidney Moorhead from Warroad, Minn.; and Daniel Burwitz from Larchwood, Iowa.

The top three schools in the team-based Postseason play were Dakota State University in the Gold bracket, Jacksonville University in the Silver bracket, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the Bronze bracket. Last year, the DSU team was designated within the Silver Bracket, but beat out gold teams for the championship honor.

"This was a great, self-motivated group of students. They know their stuff, and it was awesome to get to see their success," stated DSU instructor and advisor for the cyber security team, Dr. Kyle Cronin.

During the course of the 2014 season, over 145 colleges and universities competed. This resulted in a record-breaking year for the NCL with 1,368 participants in the Regular Season games, and 86 teams taking part in the Postseason competition.

The NCL keeps up with the demand of testing and validating the skillset of future cyber security professionals by including learning objectives in all activities by aligning preparatory lab exercises with the games. These learning objectives measure a player’s strengths and weaknesses to produce individualized Scouting Reports. Companies that are seeking qualified talent can view the Scouting Reports to evaluate potential cyber security professionals for their company.

To learn more, visit http://www.nationalcyberleague.org. To view the entire NCL leaderboard, go to the NCL Leaderboard www.nationalcyberleague.org/2014/Fall/lb/national_overall.htm.