Originally published March 26, 2013
A team of MSOE computing students finished in second place at the Midwest Regional Cyber Defense Competition. The team’s involvement marked the first time MSOE participated in the event, earning a trip to regionals by qualifying one week earlier in the Wisconsin state competition.
The MSOE team was sponsored by the Rader School of Business and included students from the computer engineering, management information systems and software engineering degree programs. The regional “Cyber Defense” team included: James Thurber (Team Captain – MIS), Nick Gorden (MIS), Thomas Gulke (MIS), Ryan Miller (MIS), Gregory Peyton (MIS), Grant Ridder (CE), and Tyler Tiegs (CE). Joining the team at the state qualifying event were Mike Pancani (CE) and Ryan Ponstein (SE).
The nine-state Midwest Regional CCDC is sponsored annually by the National Resource Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA) with funding from the National Science Foundation. More than 50 teams participated in the state event, and 10 teams qualified for the regional event. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology took first place and Northern Kentucky University took third place.
The 16-hour competition focused on the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing commercial network infrastructure. Students demonstrated their knowledge in an operational environment by securing the network from a team of professional hackers, while performing business tasks and keeping business services online. The Midwest CCDC offered a unique opportunity for students and industry professionals to interact and discuss many of the security and operational challenges the students will face as they enter the job market. Unlike traditional “hack and defend” or “capture the flag” contests, this competition tested each team’s ability to operate, secure, manage and maintain a corporate network.
Several faculty members from Rader School of Business were involved with the Cyber Defense team. Dr. Jeffrey Blessing served as the team’s overall advisor. Carol Mannino, associate professor; Mary Jo Suminski, instructor; and Melinda Davies, lecturer, were on-site advisors during the state and regional competition.
MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,500 students. MSOE offers 20 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 94% placement rate; and the highest average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.