Three-time defending champion Cal Poly Pomona will take on 10 other teams at the annual Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, March 23-25 at the Fairplex Sheraton¿s Exposition Center in Pomona.
The event pits each team against a group of hackers bent on sowing confusion and wreaking havoc throughout the three-day event. The hackers ¿ cyber security professionals known as the Red Team ¿ surreptitiously probe each competitor¿s network for weaknesses to either disrupt operations or spy on its activities. Teams earn points for how well they fend off the challenges. The event produces winners, but they¿re not limited to members of the team with the highest score. The competition helps hone the skills of future cyber security defenders.
¿Our cyber defense competitions provide students with an opportunity to show how they run a network infrastructure and business under constant attack from top security professionals. This is the way employers find out who has the skills needed to become cyber warriors,¿ says Dan Manson, a computer information systems professor in the College of Business Administration and the organizer of the event.
Two high-profile IT professionals will address the teams as keynote speakers: Laura Chappell, founder of Protocol Analysis Institute, LLC; and Mahvash Yazdi, senior vice president of business integration and chief information officer for Southern California Edison.
Chappell has trained thousands of network administrators, state and federal law enforcement officers, judicial members, engineers, technicians and developers in cyber security and forensics. In 2005, she co-founded the Internet Safety for Kids program, which provides education about online predators, safe Internet communications, and parental and law enforcement resources.
Yazdi, a Cal Poly Pomona alumna, has transformed Edison¿s information technology organization into one consistently recognized as one of the ¿100 Best Places to Work in IT¿ by Computerworld magazine. She launched Edison¿s telecommunication business in 1999, and in 2004 was the ¿architect of change¿ for its business process integration initiative.
Teams that will challenge Cal Poly Pomona for the right to advance to the national championship competition next month in San Antonio are UC Santa Cruz, Cal State Northridge, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State Dominguez Hills, DeVry University, Westwood University, the University of Advancing Technology, Mt. SAC, Chaffey College and San Bernardino Valley College.
Sponsors for the event include Southern California Edison, World Wide Technology, Cisco, the Department of Homeland Security, the Fairplex Sheraton, Wireshark, EC Council, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Deloitte and the High Technology Crime Investigation Association.
(Top photo: George Jouldjian and Kyle Umstead are members of the attacking Red Team during the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at Cal Poly Pomona March 25, 2011. Bottom photo: Marc Crawford goes to work protecting his team’s network from hackers.)