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Six students from ISU CyberCorps to judge collegiate cyber defense competition

April 17, 2008
ISU Marketing and Communications

The National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC) at Idaho State University will co-host a four-day Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (PRCCDC) with the University of Washington Center for Information Assurance and Cyber Security. The event is April 25 – 27 in Redmond, Wash.

NIATEC is a consortium of academic, industry, and government organizations operating in partnership to improve the awareness, training and education standards in information assurance. It is the federally-designated cornerstone for education and training components for a robust information assurance infrastructure. The center develops components of effective information assurance infrastructure for academic, industrial and governmental organizations. Corey Schou, Ph.D., associate dean of information systems at the ISU College of Business, is director of NIATEC.

The PRCCDC is a component of a national championship competition that began as an inter-service rivalry at the United States Military Academy in 2000.  It provides institutions enrolled in an information assurance curriculum a controlled competitive environment, allowing assessment of students’ depth of understanding and operational competency to protect an enterprise network infrastructure and business information systems.

The intercollegiate competition is characterized by a focus on systematic defense of a complete information infrastructure.  Each of the nine student teams are expected to operate and defend pre-configured systems of a fictitious company. While operating the systems, the teams are required to complete twenty assigned business tasks, keep all services operational, and prevent break-ins by a team of computer security professionals drawn from industry.

Schou, NIATEC director, said that students from the CyberCorps program at ISU have been selected to serve as the judges at the event. The team of six ISU graduate students is lead by Brady Bloxham, who is pursuing his MBA while studying information assurance as part of the Informatics Research Institute. As a scholarship for service program (SFS) participant, he is deciding between serving his paid summer 2008 internship at the newly formed Cyber Command in San Antonio, Tex. or the National Security Agency near Baltimore, Md.

Students in the CyberCorps program at ISU receive a full scholarship for two years; participate in specialized learning opportunities and spend at least one semester in an internship, usually in Washington, D.C. Upon completion of their degrees, the students take positions in information assurance with the federal government.


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