New England Tech Lands Top-Finish in National Cyber Security Competition

NEIT Faculty Member Leads Team to Top-Tier Finish in Cyber Security Competition

New England Tech's Jesse Roberts leads a high school team to a top-tier finish in a national cyber security competition.

New England Tech’s Jesse Roberts leads a high school team to a top-tier finish in a national cyber security competition.

 

Through the months of October to January, New England Institute of Technology Assistant Professor of Network Engineering and Cyber Security, Jesse Roberts, led a team of four students from East Greenwich High School to a top-tier finish at the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The team placed number one in the state of Rhode Island and was one of two teams to compete in the highest tier in the state of Rhode Island. The CyberPatriot competition includes nearly 1,700 teams competing from across the United States.

CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program. The organization was conceived by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire students toward careers in cyber-security or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.

At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Each team receives access to the Microsoft Developers Network Academic Alliance. This allows the team to download several operating systems and productivity tools that can be used to prepare for the competition.

Before the rounds of competition, teams download “virtual image” representations of operating systems with known flaws, or cyber-security “vulnerabilities.” Teams must find the flaws while keeping computer functions (such as email “services”) working. Team progress is recorded by a central CyberPatriot scoring system.

In the later rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cyber-security vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services.

Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region. Teams which reach the platinum tier in each state get a chance to compete in the regional competition. Top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition where they compete face-to-face against other teams to defend virtual networks from a professional aggressor team. Winners of the National Finals are awarded scholarship grants.

“The students from East Greenwich High School were amazing, as was the East Greenwich High School cyber security coach, Donna Wayles,” says Roberts. “Sam Delong, Anthony Agatiello, Bryce Ingram and Conor Mason are extraordinarily talented young men. I’m happy to see them so interested in Cyber Security especially given the current state of affairs in the industry. The competition is a great tool to get younger kids more involved in this rapidly growing industry.”

#CyberSecurityAtNEIT #CyberPatriot

Cyber Security Events Come to NEIT

cyber securityIn collaboration with the Rhode Island SANS Cyber Aces State Competition, New England Tech will host the awards presentation for the winners of SANS Cyber Aces Online, a national cyber security contest for high school students as well as adults interested in exploring the skills needed to be successful in the cyber security field. The SANS Institute is a global leader in cyber security training.

The course covers the three foundation areas of information security that include networking, operating systems, and systems administration. Top performers of the competition will be invited to an online State Championship on June 27, 2015, to compete for honors and scholarships. The competition is free to participants and is now open for registration. To qualify for the national championship, competitors must complete the three required program areas by June 4, 2015. New England Tech will offer scholarships to the top three winners. Visit http://www.cyberaces.org/ for more information.

The CyberPatriot competition is a national contest involving middle and high school teams. The CyberPatriot program is sponsored by the National Air Force Association program. The Rhode Island Chapter of CyberPatriot is organized by the Rhode Island State Police, Rhode Island Air Force Association, and the University of Rhode Island. Dean Plowman, NEIT’s department chair of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Technologies, serves as President of the Rhode Island Air Force Association.

At the recent 2014-2015 CyberPatriot awards ceremony held on May 6th at New England Tech, Dean Plowman and Erik Van Renselaar, department chair for Information Technology, spoke to the high school students about cyber security opportunities offered at NEIT. Several Rhode Island high schools offer CyberPatriot programs such as Warwick Area Career and Tech, LaSalle Academy, The MET School (East Bay), Middletown High School, Portsmouth High School, Rogers High School, Tiverton High School and The Wheeler School.

NEIT will be hosting the Rhode Island CyberPatriot Open House on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in Room S330 at the East Greenwich campus. This CyberPatriot recruitment event is open to Rhode Island educators, students and their families to learn more about the program. For more information visit http://www.uscyberpatriot.org/.