We’re the good guys. We defend. The UCF Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Team loves it.
About the Competition
Something very tried and true to our hearts is the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, which we have drawn our very own name from: Collegiate Cyber Defense Club @ UCF. This competition is primarily focused on system administration, security, and business. During the events, we experience and apply all sorts of skills: customer service, networking, forensics, incident response, technical writing, and other business-related tasks.
Our dedicated team of 12 undergraduate students practices tirelessly around the year, training new recruits and building techniques to administer and secure servers and personal computing systems.
How It Works
We participate in the Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, which takes place during the spring. Our region is one of ten in the United States. The team that places first in each region progresses to the national competition: National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.
We have an opportunity to again work with databases, web applications, Domain Name System, Active Directory, advanced networking, incident response and reporting, and more. The competition scenario typically involves being handed a vulnerable and highly misconfigured small business network environment.
We must keep our business alive and respond to business-related tasks called injections. All the while, we are being actively attacked by Red Team—a relatively large group of offensive security professionals. We might be asked to set up a new network appliance or even conduct a forensic examination of the computer for Bobby Joe, one of the many disgruntled employees fired. Our customers are important and we must attend to them too.
The game becomes an all-exciting challenge of planning for the unexpected.
Why We Compete
There is a primary reason we compete in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition: It is ridiculously fun! It affords us the opportunity to practice while focusing on the defensive aspects of cyber security in a corporate network environment. We get to experience what it is like out there in the real world—the challenges we are up against. It is a huge learning opportunity and a great professional networking opportunity. Competing teams are able to pit their skills against others in front of industry sponsors that are looking to recruit. It is at these competitions that students are exposed to today’s most advanced and emerging technologies.
Every fall, we look for students interested in participating. At first, we hold special sessions regularly to train novices in the art of secure system administration. We prepare signature content specifically for recruits that might not know a port from a socket. A self-starter attitude is definitely needed to keep up with the massive influx of knowledge. We provide an educational experience that students will never come close to replicating in a classroom.
The UCF Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Team has taken first three years in a row at the Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. The team’s hard work brought home the Alamo Cup after being named the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Champions in April 2014. A year later, in April 2015, the team was invited back to the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition after placing first at the Southeast regional competition. With roughly half the team returning, they successfully defended their title by placing first for a second consecutive year. We have also earned awards including Best in Service, Best in Defense, and Best in Business in the Southeast region. Team members are interning at Fortune 500 companies and all graduates of the team are gainfully employed in the security field.