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Citadel News Service
3 Apr 2013

Student IT skills put to test against fictional hackers

Cybersecurity competition to boost student interest in STEM careers

A cyber defense competition sponsored by the Palmetto Roost Chapter of the Association of Old Crows in collaboration with Space and Naval Warfare Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic, will take place April 13-14 in Mark Clark Hall’s Buyer Auditorium on The Citadel campus.  Each student team will be responsible for operating a small network that they will try to protect from attacks.

College and university students from around South Carolina will compete on Saturday and Charleston-area high school students on Sunday.  Cybersecurity experts from SPAWAR will try to hack into the team networks.  Students will be scored for completing administrative and business tasks while maintaining network availability and configuring and protecting their network against threats.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting this competition at The Citadel,” said Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics Lok C. Lew Yan Voon, who along with the School of Engineering are leading the college’s efforts to bring cybersecurity education to the Lowcountry. 

The Citadel is now offering a minor in cybersecurity and has plans to offer a specialization in cybersecurity to students pursuing a master’s degree in computer science in the joint program offered by The Citadel and the College of Charleston.

“From the recent security breach in the South Carolina Department of Revenue’s computer system to current reports that the job market for cybersecurity experts is growing many times faster than the overall IT job market, there remains a need to increase awareness and to produce more cybersecurity experts,” said Lew Yan Voon.

The cyber defense competition is part of a growing movement to develop technical skills and interest in the area of networking and cybersecurity in preparation for exciting careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Competing schools are:

College and Universities   
Charleston Southern University
Clemson University
College of Charleston
ECPI University
The Citadel
Trident Technical College
University of South Carolina

High Schools
Ashley Ridge High School
Military Magnet Academy
Stall High School
Stratford High School
Summerville High School
West Ashley High School
Wando High School

Each team will be composed of no more than six students.  Participating students must have computer networking and security configuration skills.  Mentors provided by SPAWAR will help teams prepare for the competition.  The competitions will begin at 8 a.m. and with the awards ceremony concluding around 6:30 p.m.

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Wallace
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