Tennessee Tech Again Places Among Top in the Nation in Spring 2020 National Cyber League – Individual Game

Tennessee Tech Computer Science students and CyberEagles members have completed another very successful individual game season as part of the 2020 National Cyber League (NCL) competition conducted April 3-5, 2020. A total of 15 members of the CyberEagles Capture the Flag (CTF) Cyber Interest Group competed in this year’s event. Four members of the group, who are CyberCorps SFS Scholars, scored in the Top 100 in the nation. To place this accomplishment in perspective, the competition hosted 5,351 participants in this year’s individuals game. Congratulations to Susan Jeziorowski on placing 90th, Alex Marti placing 58th. A special congratulations goes to Austin Brown placing 9th overall and to Andy Brown who finished 3rd in the nation with 2905 points out of an available 3000 with an 88.44% accuracy rate. Cybersecurity Technologist at the Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) and team advisor, Travis Lee, said “these students continue to grow and excel in these CTF-style events. I enjoyed competing in these competitions when I was a student; now I get to continue the thrill serving as a coach for the team. I am very proud of our team’s efforts.”

“These types of competitions provide essential ‘out of classroom’ experiences which these students will need in the upcoming careers” noted Eric Brown, Assistant Director for CEROC. “The successful outcomes of this competition are a unique combination of the incredible students with which we interact every day, an excellent computer science program with the best overall cybersecurity program in the state, and professional growth provided by the peer mentoring opportunities afforded by the cybersecurity interest groups within CyberEagles. We say it often… our students are the life-blood of our center.”

The NCL seeks to provide an ongoing virtual training ground for participants to develop, practice, and validate their cybersecurity knowledge and skills using next-generation high-fidelity simulation environments.

One of the distinguishing factors of the NCL is the integration of learning objectives in all its activities. One of the main ways this is accomplished is by aligning customized content available in NCL Gymnasiums with simulations and games available in the NCL Stadium. This allows players to use the Gym environment to develop knowledge and skills and then demonstrate these newly acquired skills in competitive individual and team play. It also allows the NCL to measure player’s game performance and produce individualized reports (NCL Scouting Report) on strengths and weakness among various learning objectives and industry-recognized competencies. For more information about NCL, goto https://www.nationalcyberleague.org/about.

From here, the students will continue to the team-based portion of the season with the team game being held April 15-17, 2020. All of these games are conducted online, a helpful reality during this time of social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions.

CEROC: Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center at Tennessee Tech University, under the direction of Dr. Ambareen Siraj, is a center of excellence in the College of Engineering focused on crowd-sourced education programs; research in emerging cybersecurity topics; and outreach programs to stakeholders in academia, government and industry. CEROC is an NSA-accredited Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE), host of the first and largest CyberCorps SFS program in the State of Tennessee, and host of the only DoD Cyber Scholarship program site in the state placing the center among the top tier of such centers in the nation. CEROC, via Dr. Siraj’s work, is also the founding group for the Women in Cybersecurity Conference, the largest conference of its type focusing on enhancing diversity within the cybersecurity workforce. More information about CEROC and its programs can be found at https://www.tntech.edu/ceroc or by sending an email to ceroc@tntech.edu.