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CyberSaints win first place at competition

 
Members of the CyberSaints with their adviser
Professor Kevin Barton.
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The CyberSaints, OLLU's cybersecurity team, won first place at the third annual Panoply Network Security Competition in October.

Panoply, hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), simulates a typical day for a cybersecurity professional. It is a network assessment and network defense competition combined into a single event where teams compete against each other to control virtual computer systems, and defend captured resources against attacks from other teams.

OLLU’s varsity team won over 11 teams from various universities in the region, including OLLU’s junior varsity team. The teams are led by Computer Information Systems and Security (CISS) student and team captain, Artair Burnett, and Kevin Barton, assistant professor in the CISS Department.

The competition is held during National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and aims to establish highly qualified students who are interested in pursuing careers in cyber security. It also provides the opportunity for colleges and universities in the area to evaluate and adjust their cyber-security curriculums to meet industry demands.

Burnett said the competition is “designed to allow students to have fun while applying a skill that is usually frowned upon by the general public—hacking.” To prepare for the event, the teams practiced in excess of 50 hours in the CISS lab on campus, while also practicing individually at home. The intense practicing paid off during the competition, but it also gives students the knowledge and skills they can translate into real jobs in a society where cybersecurity is an increasing concern.

“Panoply is one of few competitions where students can draw many skills relating to a real-world career,” said Burnett.