You walk into a room with eight hacked computers. Where do you even begin to detect the issue?
This is the job of the Lipscomb cyber security team which consists of eight members and four alternates. Cybersecurity professionals are responsible for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information in all forms. So, students on the cybersecurity team compete for a vigorous six hours to see who can detect vulnerabilities on computers the quickest.
According to Associate Professor in the College of Computing Dr. Chris Simmons, it’s almost like a checklist in your mind; the difference between the first and last can be less than a second.
“You have six hours to keep your systems up and running,” Simmons said. “So for example, someone is trying to get into the system. I might block him quicker than Kennesaw State blocks him. That point will go to me because I was faster and blocking the individual, but they do it roughly at the same time.”
Competition through the NCCDC, or National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, starts in the fall and gets very competitive in early spring. Each student can use a playbook of about 20 pages during the competition. There are initial competitions, regionals, and nationals. This year, Lipscomb was so close to regionals!
“It’s really fun,” cybersecurity major Caleb Voogt said. “Just to get to interact with everyone from programmers to computer engineers…and just being in cybersecurity can allow you to work for a greater purpose.”
If you’re interested in learning more about cybersecurity, reach out to Dr. Simmons. “We want English majors, we want engineers, we want people who speak different languages. All those things are important,” Simmons states.