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Tech Cyber Defense Team Finished Fourth At Regionals

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech Cyber Defense Team Finished Fourth At Regionals

Tennessee Tech’s Cyber Defense Team took home fourth place at the Regional Cyber Defense Competition in Florida this past weekend.

Cyber Range Engineer Jeremy Potts said this was the team’s first trip to regionals in some eight years. He said teams act like cyber-system administrators and defend their systems from attackers and breaches. He said the competitors have to perform simulated tasks like creating business presentations while continuously protecting the system.

“A lot of that knowledge that that first regional team got by going and competing has been kind of lost as the students have graduated and we’ve gotten a new student base and everything,” Potts said. “So, it’s very impressive that they actually got that far.”

Potts said only the first-place teams from regionals earn a trip to nationals. He said his team has already begun training and brainstorming ideas for an even deeper run next year. He said participating in this competition prepares students for similar situations in the real world.

“We are of the mindset that it is better to experience the worst-case scenario here as a student in these competitions so that once you are out into the industry, when you do have a situation such as this where your systems are being attacked and there’s a breach, you are much more centered,” Potts said. “You’re calmer. You’re more rational because this is not the first time you’ve seen it.”

The students are set up better for successful careers because they have already protected a system from attack while under immense pressure, Potts said. He said the team participated in a regional qualifier in February where the top eight squads were awarded an invitation to regionals. He said the Tech students finished in second place and immediately began preparing for the regional competition.

“Often times, these competitions do also have assumed breaches,” Potts said. “So these red teams already have backdoors. They already have ways into the systems, so it makes it challenging to harden and find all of those ways that they’re getting in.”

He said this experience will help the team be even more prepared for next year’s competition.


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