Cyber attacks continue to be a serious and growing threat to our nation’s governments and businesses. In turn, it has become a growing workforce need, especially in the Maryland-D.C. region. The Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference hopes to mitigate these threats and develop high school and college students with an interest in computers into cyber security experts. This year’s Conference was held October 21 and 22 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Eight college teams competed in the Cyber Challenge, held on Saturday October 22, but in the end it was TOWSON UNIVERSITY that took home First Place!
However, the road to victory was not an easy one. As Professor Michael O’Leary, team advisor, explains, “the competition between UMCP, UMBC and Towson was extremely close – when the scoreboard was turned off, each of the three teams had roughly 35,000 points, with Towson first and UMCP and UMBC tied and just 300 points behind.”
After two online qualifying competitions and the all-day event on Saturday, Towson University came out ahead. The members of TU’s team are Andrea Mobley (Captain), Brian Cather, Jonathan Fragale, Dustin Hanks, Dennis Hayden, and Roberto Melendez.
In addition to the pride of winning, each student received a $5,000 scholarship from the National Security Administration and will be offered a summer internship with SAIC, a science and engineering firm. These two fantastic prizes will help expand the student’s knowledge and experience in the growing Cyber Security field.
Team captain Andrea Mobley said of the win, “I think our win over two graduate teams (one of which is a University of Maryland team) and the rest of our competitors (Capitol College, University of Maryland Graduate students, University of Maryland Undergraduate students, Goucher, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland University College, and a group of collective students) keeps Towson University on the radar for the national competition in February and for employers looking to hire security professionals.”