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UCF Cyber Defense Team Wins Fifth National Title

UCF

Widely regarded as the nation’s most elite collegiate cyber security defense team, UCF has won five national cyber security titles in the last ten years. 

ORLANDO, April 25 – A team of UCF students has again proved that the university is the nation’s premier institution for cyber security talent, as they won the 2022 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition last weekend.
This is the second consecutive year that UCF’s Collegiate Cybersecurity Competition Team has won the national title. The university has now claimed five national titles in the last 10 years, more than any other university in the nation. UCF has either won first place – in 2022, 2021, 2016, 2015, and 2014 – or first runner up – in 2020, 2019, and 2018 – eight times in the last decade.
“I hope everyone in the Orlando area understands that what our students have accomplished over the years is remarkable,” says Tom Nedorost, the team’s coach and faculty advisor, who notes that UCF’s eight-member team practices up to 15 hours a week and is nationally respected as an elite program in the lucrative field of cyber security. “Some teams have been doing this for 17 years and have never been to nationals or even to regionals. To win it as often as we’ve won it says a lot about the talent pool at UCF and the passion of our students for this.”
The competition for the national title began earlier this year when nearly 250 collegiate cyber defense teams took part in regional championships. UCF won and represented the South Eastern Region. The ten regional champions competed in this past weekend’s national championship, which was held in San Antonio, Texas.
During the two-day national championship, teams were challenged with the real-world scenario of managing information technology operations for a major organization. This year, it was a video game supply company. A professional group of hackers – from established industry entities – persistently attacked the company’s various networks to cause disruption. As they defended the company from hackers, the teams also completed a slew of incoming business requests.
This is the latest major victory for UCF’s Collegiate Cybersecurity Competition Team. The students won the National Security Agency’s 2022 CAE-NCX National Championship two weeks ago as well as the Department of Energy’s National CyberForce Competition in November 2021.
Competitions like these give students real-world training in safeguarding the nation’s critical infrastructure from cyberattacks, which are growing more frequent, damaging and costly. To help meet the demand for cyber security professionals, now and in the future, UCF launched a new master’s degree in cyber security and privacy last year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security jobs are expected to grow 33% by 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. Throughout the weekend-long competition students were granted numerous networking opportunities with industry leaders. Annually, the competition is watched closely by corporate partners and competing students are routinely hired for a range of positions, including cyber security analysts, developers and engineers.
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