Pictured above – Students from Tennessee Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) pictured with their second-place prize at the 2023 Department of Energy CyberForce competition. From left: Nate Dunlap, Evyn Price, Grant Tarver, Landon Byrge, Landon Crabtree and Micah Jones. 

A total of 95 teams competed in the event

Cookeville – Tennessee Tech University’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) CyberForce competition team took second place in the annual Department of Energy (DoE) CyberForce competition, held recently in St. Charles, Ill.

A total of 95 teams competed in the event, representing a mix of military academies and colleges nationwide. CyberForce is a defensive security competition where teams focus on defending a critical infrastructure attacked by a team of offensive security professionals.

This year’s outcome improves upon Tech’s 7th-place finish from the previous year. 

“The skills mark is incredibly high to get into the top 10 in this tough competition. The fact that Tech has placed so high, consistently, is a clear demonstration of the quality of our teams and the highly skilled students that are part of them,” said Jeremy Potts, CEROC cyber range engineer and team coach.

In these computer security competitions, defensive security teams are given an infrastructure consisting of multiple computers, equipment and sensors to defend. Offensive security teams are responsible for conducting attacks against the infrastructure to identify weaknesses that require security improvements. Such competitions allow both sides to develop their cyber skills further and use this knowledge to defend our nation’s critical infrastructure.

“These student teams continue to amaze us with their abilities. The depth of support within the student-led cyber community at Tennessee Tech is on display every time one of our teams takes the field. We are very proud of their accomplishment,” said Eric Brown, associate director for workforce development at CEROC.

A longtime leader in cybersecurity issues, Tech was selected by the National Security Agency (NSA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) as the sole GenCyber campsite in Tennessee in 2023 and hosts the first and largest CyberCorps SFS program in the state. Tech is additionally recognized as a center of academic excellence in cybersecurity by the NSA. The university is home to the Golden Eagle Cyber Certificate program, a dual enrollment program allowing high school students to take college-level cybersecurity courses contributing to their post-secondary work.

CEROC focuses on K-20 cybersecurity education programs, research in emerging cybersecurity topics and outreach programs to stakeholders in academia, government, and industry.

Learn more at www.tntech.edu/ceroc or by emailing ceroc@tntech.edu.

Photo courtesy of Tennessee Tech.

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