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Neustar Joins Local Colleges in a Collegiate Cyber Competition

Mar 14, 2012

Sterling, VA – Building on its commitment to promote STEM education – science, technology, engineering and math -- and to grow the pipeline of qualified cybersecurity professionals in the United States, Neustar, Inc., (NYSE: NSR) announced that it is sponsoring the 7th Annual CyberWatch Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense (CCDC) competition.  The event takes place March 14 - 17, at the Kossiakoff Center located at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md.

Pitting students from two- and four-year colleges and universities against a “Red Team” of hackers trying to disrupt and compromise their networks, the competition is unique in that it focuses on the operational aspects of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure. This year, the competition scenario revolves around the defense of a hospital IT System, reflecting the national priority placed on Healthcare IT.  Student teams are scored based on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats; maintain availability of existing services (e.g., e-mail servers); respond to business requests (e.g., add user accounts); and balance security needs against business needs.  The winner of the Mid-Atlantic CCDC will move on to represent the region in the National CCDC, April 20-22, 2012, in San Antonio. 

Neustar cybersecurity professionals will be on-hand to participate in the games, observe the competitors and network with the aspiring cyber warriors. 

“We are deeply committed to promoting STEM education which will help the country fill its need for qualified cyber professionals,” said Mark Enstrom, member of the Technical Staff, Neustar.  “This competition gives our engineers the opportunity to share real-world cyber challenges and scenarios that these students will face in business.  It also is a great opportunity for us to view potential job candidates using their skills, exhibiting teamwork and solving problems under stressful conditions.”

The competition provides a chance for government and industry officials to observe the competition, discuss cyber security career choices with top students in the region, and become better informed regarding current trends in security and information assurance. This year, a major element for high school students has been added for Saturday, March 17, 2012, with lectures, a college fair and exercises focused around cyber security.

Students from the following institutions are expected to attend the competition: Capitol College (Md.); Howard Community College (Md.); James Madison University (Va.); Millersville University (Pa.); Radford University (Va.);Towson University (Md.); University of Maryland Baltimore County ; and West Virginia University . They are the winners of a hotly contested preliminary round of competitions which pitted representatives from 25 universities and community colleges within the Mid Atlantic region. 

CCDC is hosted by CyberWatch, Prince Georges Community College, the National Science Foundation, ISight Partners, and the Community College of Baltimore County.