By Sara Heath–
U of L’s Cyber Defense team won their state qualifier event on Feb. 15, beating Murray State University and Northern Kentucky University for the title. The team is currently ranked first out of schools in Kentucky, Iowa and Ohio.
The main goal of cyber defense competition is to secure a networked computer system while maintaining standard business functionality. In the competition, a team of hackers, known as the Red Team, attempts to break into the collegiate teams’ system.
“We were pretty confident going in, we knew that we had the potential to win, as long as we stayed focused and worked as a team,” said team member Kerrick Lawson.
The collegiate teams are scored on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats while maintaining the use of existing services, respond to business requests and balance security against varying business needs. The competitions last eight straight hours.
“It’s exhausting to be on the watch for so many hours, looking for intrusion and how to secure our environment,” said team member Clayton Colwell.
The team will now advance to the regional competition at the end of March.
“The team will be focusing on getting comfortable with the network layout and operating systems we will be working with, as well as refining our defensive strategy,” said team captain James Corcoran. “I also expect that the red team attacks will be more sophisticated”.
Members of the U of L’s Cyber Defense team come from the Cyber Defense Club. The club, which is open for all majors to join, focuses on learning the necessary information and defense tactics during meetings, all of which are self-taught by club members.
If the U of L Cyber Defense Team wins the regional competition, they will move onto the national competition held April 25-27.
Photo courtesy U of L Cyber Defense Team