A cyber security team from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will advance to the second round of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.
Twenty teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico competed during a virtual qualifying round on Feb. 18. UA Little Rock and seven other teams advanced to compete in the Southwest regional March 17-19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Coached by Yanyan Li, an integrated computing doctoral student, the team consists of Captain Connor Young, Aaron Mays, Hector Fernandez, Jeffrey Wooldridge, Josh Carlat, Malik El-Amin, Shijun Zhong, and Zachary Long.
“This was a great achievement for our CCDC team, considering that only two members participated in last year’s competition, and we had as many as six new members join this year,” Li said. “They played as a team helping each other and secured our servers from being attacked.”
During the competition, students assume the administrative and protective duties for a commercial network. While the team runs the companies, it must defend its networks against attacks from a professional team of penetration testers, who find security vulnerabilities in web-based applications, networks, and systems.
“We play the part of a newly hired IT team for a small, web-based company,” Young said. “Some example of difficulties we faced include dealing with missing passwords on our computers, writing policies such as a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, and providing services for our company. This last challenge includes maintaining a web page, managing our coworkers’ accounts, and providing useful file sharing inside and outside of our company.”
In 2016, the UA Little Rock team finished third in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
In the upper right photo, the UA Little Rock Cyber Defense Team includes, from left to right: Back Row: Yanyan Li, Josh Carlat, Connor Young, and Shijun Zhong. Front Row: Zachary Long, Malik El-Amin, Aaron Mays, and Hector Fernandez.