The University of Virginia prevailed over nine other finalist teams to win the 2019 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and its coveted Alamo Cup. The championship was held in Orlando from April 23-25 with the national competition’s top 10 college and university teams.
University of Virginia’s team successfully protected the network of a fictional agriculture firm specializing in cryopreservation, crop research and development, and sustainable farming. The fictional company sustained multiple attacks orchestrated by ethical hackers using the same tactics and techniques as real-world bad actors.
“NCCDC’s systematic, professional approach to this competition, and the use of real-world business scenarios, helps attract the talent that will fill the 3.5 million cyber job vacancies we will see by 2021, according to research published by Cybersecurity Ventures,” said John DeSimone, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “Congratulations to University of Virginia and all NCCDC competitors. We encourage them to continue their pursuit of cybersecurity excellence.”
More than 235 colleges and universities competed to test their cybersecurity prowess. Regional competitions comprised of multiple stages and a single-elimination round reduced the field to 10 finalists for the national championship. NCCDC was the first to test cyber defense skills in a collegiate competition modeled after real-world attack scenarios. Seeing the practical applications of cyber defense skills encourages more students to pursue cybersecurity careers.
“Everyone recognizes the need to find and train more cyber professionals,” said Dwayne Williams, director of the NCCDC, CIAS/UTSA. “The NCCDC program brings academia, government and industry together in a unique way to address that need.”
In addition to University of Virginia’s top finish, University of Central Florida placed second, and Rochester Institute of Technology placed third. The 10 schools that competed at the championship include:
Sponsors of NCCDC include government agencies, colleges and commercial companies. Raytheon will bring the winning team to Washington, D.C., to some of the nation’s top research and national cybersecurity sites.