Honolulu CC and UH West O‘ahu cyber team place second
National Cyber Defense CompeitionHonolulu Community College
Dir of Communications , Chancellor's Office
(Honolulu) - For the fourth year in a row, a team of students from Honolulu Community College (HonCC) and the University of Hawai‘i - West O‘ahu placed within the top three of the “At Large” regional of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (ALCCDC). The University of Alaska at Anchorage was this year’s winner of the ALCCDC, with HonCC-UH West O‘ahu finishing second, followed by Penn State, which came in third. The national CCDC, which was first held in 2005, is considered the “Big Dance” of collegiate cybersecurity competitions.
“These students put in a tremendous amount of hours to the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. They performed extremely well. I couldn't be prouder of what we have accomplished together,” says coach Jason Hayworth, a HonCC-UH West O‘ahu CENT student.
The HonCC-UH West O‘ahu team consisted of students who are concurrently taking courses in the Computing, Electronics & Networking Technologies (CENT) program at Honolulu Community College and the CENT and Information Security Assurance (ISA) programs at UH West O‘ahu. The two colleges feature an articulation agreement where students take their first two years of coursework at HonCC, share a third year of courses at both campuses, and complete their coursework at UH West O‘ahu, where they earn a Bachelors of Applied Science Degree in CENT or ISA.
This year’s team members included team co-captains Marvin Buenafe and Kenneth Dedicatoria, Brayton Acoba, Gerome Catbagan, Derrick Le, Kevin Ryan, CJ Ulep, and Sharey Vendiola.
The CCDC competition consists of “injects,” or tasks assigned to each team. While the teams work to complete these injects, a “Red Team” schemes to attack and wreak havoc on their activities.
“Our team spent about 20 hours a week preparing for this event. Within the months of January and March, we were able to set up, and work in a mock environment that simulated the competition environment. We had assistance from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) in providing Red Teams, who were tasked to infiltrate our mock environment. We also had other industry professionals who helped us on our planning and management phase,” says Hayworth.
The driving force for cybersecurity competitions is the need to train a new generation of cybersecurity professionals. “I am very proud of the performance put forward by our students. Not only did they display the technical expertise needed to perform the indicated tasks, they displayed teamwork and professionalism which are the cornerstone skills required for our nation to securely thrive in cyberspace,” shares Aaron Tanaka, HonCC CENT Professor.