Cyber Defenders Head to Nationals


Cyber Defenders Head to Nationals
Members of the Cal Poly Pomona cyber defense team compete at the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

Cal Poly Pomona's cyber defense team will be testing its skills against some of the best teams in the country at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition April 17-19 in San Antonio, Texas.

To qualify for the national competition, Cal Poly Pomona beat competing teams from the western United States including Sacramento State and Cal State San Bernardino. Just eight teams are invited to the national competition, among them Texas A&M, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Winning team members will receive individual trophies as well as the Alamo Cup, a traveling trophy named after San Antonio's historical landmark.

“I am proud to see our students competing this year in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition,” says CIS professor Dan Mansonm, who brought the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition to Cal Poly Pomona. “The competition exemplifies our learn-by-doing approach and gives our students the opportunity to gain real-world experience that goes far beyond a traditional classroom.”

Since 2004, the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition has given students a glimpse of the pressures and demands of securing a network in the real world. During the competition, students will function as network and security administrators for a fictitious company. While they perform routine tasks such as establishing employee e-mail accounts, a group of industry experts will attempt to threaten the computer infrastructure. The mock hackers work at organizations such as the Army, Northrop Grumman and Accenture.

This year, 63 schools competed in eight regional competitions. This is the second year that the competition has offered a regional qualifying event in the western United States. Cal Poly Pomona has hosted both times.