Cyber defense team weathers mock attack scenario to take third place

Jackson College students experienced a real taste of defending a corporate computer network from attack recently when the Cyber Defense team took third-place at the 2018 Michigan Collegiate Cyber Defense Network event!

The competition was comprised of 10 teams from colleges and universities across the state. The only community colleges competing were Jackson College and Henry Ford College. First place went to Baker College of Flint, and second place went to Eastern Michigan University.

Participants are given a scenario of a cyber-breach that they must help correct. Students gain a better understanding of Microsoft networks, learn just how vulnerable a system can be, develop their ability to respond and work in a high-stress situation, how to handle corporate instructions and much more.

“It’s like you’re just walking into a company that has just recently been breached and continues currently in a breach,” said student Douglas Dew, team member. “So the company’s under attack, and you have to get everything online, keep it online and do normal business tasks that they’re sending you at the same time.”

Student Chris Mitchell explained “Basically it’s like a company just starting to hire a security operations center, and we are essentially taking over security for that company that had none previously. We manage how to triage the situation.”

In addition to Dew and Mitchell, team members include Leah Bradstreet, Casey Davis, Evan Janik, Bradley Maxwell and Canyon Raburn. Assistant Professor Larry Choate serves as the advisor.

“The feedback that I get from employers is that they consider CCDN experience the equivalent of two years of work experience,” Choate said. “My observation is that students who do compete do often get preferential treatment in a job search because of their experience.”

Cyber security team members practice on Saturday mornings at the College. It is open to all Jackson College students, even those not currently enrolled in a computer networking program. To learn more, contact Choate.

The competition was held at Davenport University’s Lettinga Campus in Grand Rapids on Feb. 17.

Learn more about Jackson College programs: CybersecurityComputer Networking