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DSU wins 2016 North Central Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

April 20, 2016

Dakota State University’s student information security team has won the North Central Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, advancing to the 2016 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) in San Antonio, Texas, April 22-24.

Members of the winning team are:

-       Josh Klosterman, a junior Network and Security Administration major

-       Samuel Coome, a graduate student in Applied Computer Science

-       Dylan Johnson, a sophomore Cyber Operations major

-       Bradley Bullock, a sophomore Cyber Operations major

-       Michael Garippo, a freshman Cyber Operations major

-       Amanda Smeenk, a sophomore Network and Security Administration major

-       Adam Good, a freshman Computer Science and Mathematics for Information Systems major

-       Jacob Williams, a sophomore Cyber Operations major

The Dakota State team competed against six other schools in the North Central regional tournament held during DakotaCon in Madison, S.D. DSU’s competition from area institutions included Montana Tech of the University of Montana, University of South Dakota, Western Iowa Technical Community College, Mitchell Technical Institute, University of Nebraska - Kearney and Western Dakota Technical Institute. Only two of the eight DSU team members have previously competed in a CCDC event, which demonstrates the high-level of talent in cyber security they have early on in their academic careers.

“Due to the highly realistic nature of the competition, our team prepared by researching real-world cyber security techniques,” said Klosterman, team captain for DSU. “This enabled us to respond and defend ourselves against attacks during the competition.”

For the competition, student teams were tasked with protecting computer networks against the same type of real-world cyber threats that are infiltrating major retailers, corporations, social networks and financial institutions today. Students from more than 180 colleges and universities from across the country will be competing in various regional tournaments that crown 10 winners to compete in the two-day national competition.  

“We believe that Raytheon has a responsibility to help develop the cyber talent pipeline,” said David Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “This competition delivers real-world experience and skills to the students who will defend the cyber domain in the future.”

“It is critical that we as a nation need to foster the next generation of cyber talent to help secure our country from cyber threats,” said Dwayne Williams, director of NCCDC. “Partnering with the Department of Homeland and Raytheon, NCCDC provides real-world experiences for students to understand how to protect complex networks from various attacks and gain the essential skills that will position them for successful cyber careers after college.”

The 2016 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition will be held in San Antonio, Texas, April 22-24.  Current schools vying for the national title include Brigham Young University, University of Alaska - Anchorage, University of Tulsa, Northeastern University, Columbia Basin College, Cal Poly Pomona, Liberty University, DePaul University, University of Central Florida and DSU.   

For more information, visit Follow the action on the NCCDC interactive tournament bracket or join the conversation on social media by using #NCCDC.