On Oct. 7, 2022, Danville Community College (DCC) hosted the ‘CyberKnights Showdown’, its first regional cybersecurity competition on the DCC Campus.
“Cybersecurity, now more than ever, is an integral part of nearly every business,” said Dr. Jerry Wallace, DCC president. “The need to protect consumer, business, and government data is ever-growing and the opening of our new, state-of-the-art Cyber Center is DCC’s response to this local, national, and global need.”
High school students from around the area gathered in the DCC Cyber Center, located in the Temple Building on the DCC campus, to compete in an online, capture-the-flag environment. Competition categories included Open Source Intelligence Gathering; (OSINT) Forensic; Web Exploitation; Steganography; Cryptography; Network Traffic Analysis; Reverse Engineering, and Encryption.
“It was incredibly impressive to watch these high school students come into the competition prepared to compete in something so technical and specialized,” said Wallace. “These students are the future of the information systems technology industry.”
After the conclusion of the competition, awards were issued to the winners in a ceremony held in Oliver Hall, which included 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medals, plus an HP laptop for each winner, donated by the Danville Community College Educational Foundation.
1st Place – Epic Misfit Debris – Andrew Lindblom and Joshua Martin
2nd Place – Random Eclipse – Jacob Richardson and Benjamin Barnett
3rd Place – Crash-test Gunners – Joshua Cole and Connor Brumfield
Participants enjoyed a boxed lunch, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of the new Cyber Center. Wallace welcomed attendees to the ceremony and introduced guest speaker Aliscia Andrews, deputy secretary of Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“We are pleased that our representation in Richmond recognizes the importance of cybersecurity training and the impact it will have on Virginia in the years to come,” said Wallace. “It was an absolute honor to have Aliscia Andrews join us to speak to attendees about the critical need for cybersecurity expertise in our state.”
Steven Carrigan, professor of Information Systems Technology and director of the Cyber Center, offered closing remarks to attendees.
“With continued cyberattacks on our nation’s infrastructure, it is important for businesses and industries to hire highly trained graduates,” said Carrigan. “DCC was first awarded accreditation from the National Security Agency (NSA) / Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) in 2017 and was recertified in August of this year with our new Cyber and Network Security Associate of Applied Science Degree program. In keeping with October being recognized as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, this competition highlights the brightest high school students in our region who will ultimately become our nation’s future cyber experts.”
For more information about the Cybersecurity Program at Danville Community College, visit danville.edu.
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