The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science (ASMS) CyberPatriots teams, CyberDragons and CyberDragons2 have been working diligently towards this year’s National Youth CyberDefense Competition. This competition puts teams of students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, which become increasingly difficult, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services.
The ASMS CyberDragons teams 1 & 2 consisted of eight students total, Team Captains Baylee Keevan and Zachary Davis, Adian Lobel, Aidan Anderson, Gabrielle Lohning, Lauren Barkey, Andrew Scott, and Quinn Handley.
For these students, this was not just a competition, but a valuable learning opportunity.
“As a team captain I gained leadership and organizational skills,” says Keevan. “The competitions also allow you to learn a lot of practical and useful information about cybersecurity, networking, or specific operating systems by discovering it yourself rather than just reading or lecturing.”
“I enjoyed the meticulous planning and detailed systems of the Packet Tracer competition,” says Scott. “It was a blast for me to work through piece by piece.”
“I have benefited from participating in the CyberPatriot competition this year because I was able to obtain hands on knowledge and training in aspects of cyber security and computer networking that I never would have been able to previously,” says Lobel.
Deborah Grey coach and ASMS instructor brought the CyberPatriot’s teams together in the Computer Science department. She has been working with her students all term to prepare for this competition.
“What a year,” says Grey. “It was a steep learning curve for the students and me! But, what a great hands-on way for the students to learn about different operating systems and administration, networking, and security. I am so proud of how they rose to the challenge! Next year we’ll build on this year’s successes – we now understand how the competition is organized and what we need to know.”
Combined points from the first two rounds pushed both of the teams into the Gold Tier for the State Round on Jan 13th. With over 3200 teams, CyberDragons placed 3rd in the state with Cyber Dragons2 team close behind them in points. Both teams progressed to the Semifinals on February 3, 2019, which consisted of only 25% of the teams from the State round. Congratulations to both of our teams!
Results for the national ranking will be released the week of February 10, 2019.