Cyber Defense Competition April 12

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic and the South Carolina Lowcountry Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) are jointly organizing the 2014 Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition (PCDC). The goal of the PCDC is to energize South Carolina colleges and high schools and their students to focus on the development of technical skills in the areas of networking and cyber security in preparation for exciting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The competition will be conducted April 12-13, in the College Center at the Complex for Economic Development at Trident Technical College in North Charleston. The competition runs from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day.

The competition venue is free and open to the public, so students and parents, school administrators and teachers, cyber security industry professionals or interested observers from the general public are all welcome to observe and cheer on the students as they compete. The competition is organized and run by more than 100 volunteers from SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic, members of the S.C. Lowcountry Chapter of AFCEA International and local cyber security industry professionals.

Richard Clarke, an internationally recognized homeland security, national security, cyber security and counterterrorism expert and New York Times best-selling author will be the featured guest speaker on Saturday. President Obama recently appointed Clarke as a member of a review group on intelligence and communications technologies. Clarke had previously served the last three presidents as a senior White House advisor, including special advisor to the president for cyber security.

On Sunday, the featured guest speaker will be Celeste M. Matarazzo, a data science expert with more than 27 years of service at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs Computation Directorate. Since November 2008, she has served as a principal investigator within the Center for Applied Scientific Computing, leading a large LLNL-funded strategic initiative research project in cyber security situational awareness. She is also the associate program leader for Network Exploitation for the Global Security Directorate and deputy director of the Network Security Innovation Center.

During the competition, students from each school will form “Blue Teams” of six competitors that are responsible for operating a small business network. Each of the teams will be provided with a malconfigured business network at the start of the competition and will be challenged to properly reconfigure the network, add new services and respond to additional requirements, all the while defending against a “Red Team” of SPAWAR volunteers attempting to disrupt and penetrate their network. Blue Teams will be scored for accomplishing administrative and business tasks while maintaining network/service availability, such as mail, database and web servers, as well as their ability to detect and respond to cyber threats. Teams must also be able to respond to business requests, such as the addition or removal of services, and balance security needs against business needs. Winning schools will be awarded trophies and provided technology grants from AFCEA and individual competitors on the winning teams will be awarded medals and academic scholarships.

The competition will involve teams from S.C. colleges and universities on April 12, followed on April 13 by teams from S.C. high schools who prequalified for the event in earlier cyber defense competitions.

The competition, awards, scholarships and technology grants were made possible through the generous support of many industry and institutional sponsors and volunteers, to include Dell, CACI, Trident Technical College, CISCO Sourcefire, Secure Mission Solutions, AFCEA International, Lockheed Martin, Pro2Serve, the Advanced Cyberforensics Education Consortium, the Rural Technology Fund, ISHPI, Scitor Corporation, Southern Educational Systems, SRC, IMS, Vistronix, ITT Technical Institute, Sentar, the Air Force Association, the Law Office of Leanne M. Innet, as well as competition organizers SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic and the AFCEA South Carolina Lowcountry Chapter.

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