The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) announced that the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) is returning to San Antonio for the seventh consecutive year.
Sponsored by Deloitte, one of the largest professional services organizations in the United States, the three-day national championship will kick off on April 20th at the St. Anthony Hotel.
Modeled from real world scenarios and obstacles, this one-of-a-kind competition will feature the top 10 champions of the regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition from universities across the country.
The national event will serve as an additional training ground for future cyber defenders. It also provides the best and brightest collegiate students an opportunity to shine on a national stage and connect with the top cyber security firms in the country.
The threat of cyber attacks targeting the United States is a serious issue at the highest levels of government. President Obama recently noted "cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation."
Moreover, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently announced that the Department of Homeland Security faces a barrage – thousands – of cyber-attacks every 45 minutes.
In line with the United States' commitment to cyber defense, Secretary of Department of Defense Leon Panetta announced in his 10-year budget forecast that cyber security is one of a few select areas that will receive additional investment and resources, even as the Department of Defense readies to scale back $487 billion in spending in other areas.
"Our nation is under constant attack from various cyber criminals, from individuals stealing personal financial information to sophisticated terrorist networks seeking to hack into our electrical grid and be a detriment to our way of life," said General Harry Raduege, Deloitte Services LP and chairman of Deloitte's Center for Cyber Innovation.
"Our nation continues to seek out and employ the best and brightest to combat cyber crimes. Competitions such as the NCCDC help refine the skills necessary to man our new front lines."
NCCDC provides higher education institutions with information assurance and computer security programs in a competitive environment.
"San Antonio boasts one of our nation's largest military contingents," said Dr. Gregory White, director, UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security.
"Students who participate in these kinds of competitions are at the forefront of the war on terror. Cyber terrorism is very real. Each day, our federal government and commercial sectors are at risk. Our competition provides the necessary foundation for students to implement what they've learned to serve a higher calling as key defenders against cyber terrorism and maintain the security of our networks."
The attention from government and business leaders now focused on cyber security has also brought an added benefit for those who compete in the NCCDC – job opportunities. In previous years, for those with proven skills in the field the NCCDC has fostered hundreds of employment opportunities for participants over the last six years.