Last month UVU’s Cyber Security club placed second in the qualifiers for the regional Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense competition, marking the third year in a row that a CSC team has advanced to regionals.
This year’s team was composed of Kyle Baker, Kade Barney, Dallin Bishop, Daniel Dayley, Ryan Fisk, Chris Hansen, Austin Larsen and Alex Reyneke.
At the qualifiers, the team had to to compete against 12 other teams for a spot to advance on to RMCCDC. Each team was given the task of creating a network and defending it from professional hackers.
“[The purpose] is to teach us how to deal in these environments and work with one another in extremely stressful situations,” said Hansen, the network lead for the CSC team.
According to Hansen, though the competitions demand much, competing in such events is something he thoroughly enjoys.
“I enjoy the fight of these competitions. Knowing that I am up against professional hackers — certified and regulated by the industry and government — and that I can defend myself, is a huge confidence booster,” said Hansen.
For Hansen, along with the rest of the team, competing in the events also provides the students with confidence that what they are learning in the classroom has real-world applications.
“We may be students who are just making our way into the industry, but this gives [us] confidence and shows [us] that what [we] have been learning can be applied in a real world sense,” said Hansen. “It is a thrill to see something you struggled to learn be put to good use, and to know that it was worth all the time invested in learning.”
The team will travel to Colorado in March to compete at regionals. Last year the team took first place, and according to Hansen, they are aiming to do just as well this year.
“To advance to nationals, you have to be the number one team from each region. There are 10 regions. These are the top 10 teams from over 2,000 schools who have competed,” said Hansen. “We went to nationals last year and hope to be back again this year. We did take first place last year at regionals, so returning and doing our best is always something we look forward to.”
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