Cybersecurity Club Events
Cyber Security Competitions
Cybersecurity competitions, mostly in the form of CTFs (capture the flag), are becoming a necessity in Cybersecurity Training and career preparation. According to Forbes Magazine, CTF competitions can help bridge the gaps in skill and interest in the field. By gamifying the experience, CTFs help make cybersecurity learning "fun and engaging".
National Cyber League (NCL)
Since its inception in 2011, Valencia College has participated in the National Cyber League's (NCL) biannual competitions. These competitions occur in the Fall and Spring Semesters. The number of Valencia College students competing at the NCL has increased from 16 players in 2013 to 61 players in Fall of 2017. NCL competition scouting reports, show Valencia Students ranking amongst the top players in the nation!
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Valencia College has not fielded an official team for the NCL in some time. Individual students, however, have still been competing and doing well.
Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CECCDC)
PicoCTF (Carnegie Melon College)
More recently, Valencia College has been participating in the PicoCTF challenges that Carnegie Melon College has been hosting. PicoCTF has been a great resource for our students. Not only do they have a competition yearly, they also have smaller competitions and an open gym where students can learn about CTFs and the skills that they will need to compete.
Carnegie Melon has fostered an environment of learning, a philosophy of which that Valencia College shares.
Here is what some of our Cyber Defense Students have to say about their experiences with the competitions:
"Because of the ethical hacking course, I had the honor to compete in the SECDCC. It was a great experience and also a motivation to continue and advance in Cyber Security. The competition helped get a better understanding of security and securing networks. This competition is a great way for students to get their feet wet in understanding basic security configurations and the importance of network security. It was also a very fun experience and taught the value of working as a team and helping others. I would definitely love to compete again if I had the opportunity and look forward to other cyber competitions in the future"
"I have competed in the National Cyber League (NCL). This competition was a great learning addition because it drove students to research and to learn more about techniques and tools that can be used in the field of cyber security. The challenges consisted of capture-the-flag type questions which forced students to use critical thinking, reasoning, and go beyond traditional classroom learning. It provided real life hands-on exercises on cryptography, cyber security, forensics, ethical hacking, network analysis, and more. My experience with the NCL competition is that it was fun and helped me to develop my thinking and research abilities in the computer network and cyber security fields."
"I have also competed in the South-Eastern Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (SECCDC). This competition was similar to an on-the-job experience that a classroom could not offer. It was a team exercise and the goal was to effectively harden servers as well as to complete job assignments and reports in a timely fashion while hackers were trying to penetrate the network and hack our systems. My experience with SECCDC helped me to realize the importance of cyber security today, and it also gave me the experience to work in teams with other people and to really take the job seriously"