Cyber defense competition at KSU

As anyone who’s ever worked on a networked computer knows‚ the lost productivity caused by…

Georgia (Apr 10, 2006) — Cyber defense competition at KSU

Karen Kennedy


Contact: Frances Weyand‚ Director of University Relations‚ 770−423−6203 or

As anyone who’s ever worked on a networked computer knows‚ the lost productivity caused by network glitches can make computer users and administrators long to go back to living in a cave. For teams of students from throughout the Southeast‚ however‚ glitches just make life interesting.

One Friday in March‚ seven student teams participating in the first Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition inherited computer networks with a number of servers that they were expected to update‚ maintain and secure. The catch: All systems had been misconfigured due to “the incompetence of the previous security team.”

The student teams spent Friday afternoon shaping up their networks in order to defend their information when experts from Internet Security Systems and PricewaterhouseCoopers arrived Saturday to probe‚ attack and harass the student teams and their networks.

Kennesaw State University’s Michael Whitman‚ director of the Center for Information Security Education‚ who coordinated the event‚ said‚ “While similar to other cyber defense competitions in many aspects‚ the Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition is unique in that it is focused on the operational task of assuming administrative and protective duties for an existing commercial network.”

The competition‚ hosted by Kennesaw State‚ included student teams from Chattahoochee Technical College; Kennesaw State University; Southern Polytechnic State University; University of Alabama‚ Birmingham; University of Louisville; University of North Carolina‚ Charlotte; and University of South Florida.

KSU faculty scored teams based on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats‚ maintain availability of existing services such as mail servers and Web servers‚ respond to business requests such as the addition or removal of services and balance security needs against business needs. The student team from the University of North Carolina‚ Charlotte emerged victorious‚ with the University of South Florida and Southern Polytechnic finishing second and third respectively.

“Following the success of this event‚ it is our hope for KSU to host the national competition in upcoming years‚” Whitman said.

For more information on the SECCDC‚ contact Michael Whitman at or 770−423−6005.


Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of 18‚500 from 132 countries. The third largest state university out of 35 institutions in the University System of Georgia‚ KSU offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit