Apr 7, 2017

Field set for 2017 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Championship

The winners of the 2016 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition with the Alamo Cup.


Reprinted from UTSA Today Article


The Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) today announced the 10 finalists for the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) Championship. The NCCDC, developed by UTSA and presented by Raytheon, will return to San Antonio for the twelfth consecutive year.


The three-day national championship kicks off April 13 and features the top 10 teams from universities across the country testing their skills in defending against cyber-attacks. The National Champion will be awarded the Alamo Cup on April 15 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

The NCCDC consists of qualifying and regional events with the winners of each regional event advancing to the national championship. The winners of the 10 regional competitions are:

  • Brigham Young University
  • California State University
  • Northridge DePaul University
  • Montana Tech
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of South Alabama
  • University of Tulsa University of Washington


"NCCDC is a perfect extension of Raytheon's global Cyber Academy initiative, helping to develop the next generation of cyber defenders," said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. "As a company hiring across the nation and around the world, these 'battle tested' students really stand out because of their real-world experience and personal dedication to honing their skills in a field that is constantly evolving."

The competition began in 2005 under the direction of Greg White, UTSA professor of computer science and CIAS director. The first competition involved five Texas colleges and universities and has since evolved into a national competition with 200 schools participating across 10 regional qualifying events. Competitors prepare so intensely to compete for a spot in the national championship that the competition has grown to become a scouting ground for national companies looking to hire cybersecurity professionals.


The 10 competing teams are made up of eight students, only two of whom are allowed to be graduate students. They are tasked with running and protecting a small business network designed by CIAS personnel, while facing simulated attacks. Roughly half of the team's score is based on the team's ability to keep critical network services up and running while the other half is based on their ability to support and respond to business tasks. Throughout the competition, team networks are "attacked" by a team of industry professionals whose goal is to disrupt the business and steal sensitive data.


"Over the past 12 years, the NCCDC has grown into one of the most respected collegiate cybersecurity defense competitions in the nation," said Dwayne Williams, director of the NCCDC. "The skills and abilities students develop and demonstrate in cyber competitions like CCDC make them top recruits for government, industry, and academia. The competition to recruit these students is almost as intense as the competition for the NCCDC itself."


UTSA is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world and among the top 100 in the nation, according to Times Higher Education.