Forsyth Tech Cyber Defense Team Earns High Honors

WINSTON-SALEM (March 21, 2011) – A feisty band of five Forsyth Tech computer network security students this week returns from spring break with a regional honor and national respect. The Forsyth Tech Cyber Defense team took third place in a field of eight regional finalists in the 6th annual CyberWatch Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

Each team had to defend its simulated computer network against two days of relentless computer attacks from a much larger team of hackers. The Regional Finals competition was held over the weekend of March 10, 2001, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, in Laurel, MD. The competition drew more than 500 competitors, spectators and IT industry and government officials from the region.

“We’re thrilled at how well we did,” said Forsyth Tech faculty mentor Shawn Toderick, who is Program Coordinator for the college’s Information Systems Security Program. “We came up from seventh place early on and even managed to hold the lead at the end of the first day.”

“It was a real challenge,” said Forsyth Tech student team leader Jewel Hefner. “The hackers were also blasting us with loud music and foam dart gun attacks while we were trying to defend our networks. I don’t think we’ll find that kind of attack in the real world!”

Event Director Casey O’Brien commented during the presentation of the 3rd place award that the Forsyth Tech team demonstrated that students from two-year schools can perform at the same level or higher than their four-year student counterparts. This was Forsyth Tech’s first time to enter the competition and the only two-year school to place in the top three rankings.

The University of Maryland College Park team took top honors and a chance to compete in the National CCDC in San Antonio, TX, April 8-10, 2011. James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA) took 2nd place and Forsyth Technical Community College took 3rd place.