Pictured above – Students from Tennessee Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) competition team pictured with their first place prize at the 2023 InfoSec Nashville capture the flag competition. From left: Landon Crabtree, Anna Timmcke, Landon Byrge, Nate Dunlap and Micah Jones.

This is the seventh year that Tech has been a part of the InfoSec Nashville community

Cookeville – Tennessee Tech University’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) competition team took first place in the annual capture the flag (CTF) cybersecurity competition at the 2023 InfoSec Nashville conference. A total of 10 teams competed in the event, representing a mix of industry members and colleges.

In computer security, CTF is a popular competition to test and develop cyber skills. The competition involves participants working to locate concealed text strings or “flags,” within vulnerable websites and programs. 

“CTF competitions allow students to exercise a wealth of skillsets as the tasks cover several different areas of cybersecurity. Our students continue to demonstrate their diversity of skill in competitions of this type,” said Eric Brown, associate director for workforce development at CEROC.

Organized by the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) Middle Tennessee Chapter, InfoSec Nashville is an annual cybersecurity conference focusing on current trends and technology in cybersecurity affection the industry and government sectors.

This is the seventh year that Tech has been a part of the InfoSec Nashville community. Computer Science students and staff have served in ambassador and presenter roles over the years. This year represented the first time that Computer Science students have been able to participate in a competition associated with the conference. The CTF competition was hosted by Hack the Box, a popular cybersecurity upskilling platform used worldwide.

“I am incredibly proud of this team’s performance. Our students train throughout the year in CTF, defensive and offensive cybersecurity through student clubs. These students, from all academic levels, are a clear demonstration of the talent pool at Tennessee Tech who will enter the cyber workforce as defenders of our critical infrastructure and systems,” said Jeremy Potts, a cyber range engineer with CEROC.

A longtime leader in cybersecurity issues, Tech was hand-selected by the National Security Agency (NSA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) as the sole GenCyber camp site in Tennessee 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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