PHOTO: Kneeling (Left to Right): Faculty Advisor Steven Vincent; Faculty Advisor Matthew Hansel; Team Captain Samantha Canode Standing (Left to Right): Dylan Johnston; Brandon Webster; Nathan Hall; Tallon Komar; Dillon Viar; Anna Engel. Not pictured: Shaylynne Simons
OWOSSO – An eight-person Baker College Cyber Defense Club undergraduate student team recently earned the top spot at the statewide 2021 Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), part of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, created by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security. The winning team will next move on to compete in the Midwest Regional CCDC on March 19-20, 2021.
Due to the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, this year’s competition was held remotely on Feb. 13, 2021. In order to consolidate resources, competition organizers chose to combine several state-level competitions into one event, meaning the Baker College team competed against not only three other Michigan-based schools, but also 14 other teams from schools across three other states, including Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. To earn the 2021 Michigan statewide title, Baker bested competitors from Davenport University, Jackson Community College and Wayne State University.
The event, which takes place over a six- to eight-hour timeframe, sees teams simulating the role of an IT company that must resolve issues with existing services or systems, while also completing time-sensitive tasks requested by supervisors, and keeping their systems secure and functioning during attempted attacks by professional penetration testers (more commonly known as hackers).
“It’s a high-energy, high-stress environment, but it really brings you together as a team, and teaches you an incredible amount in such a short period of time,” said Team Captain, Samantha Canode. “It is an entirely unique experience in which I am grateful to participate.”
The winning team, based out of the Baker College of Owosso campus and coached to victory by Baker College Faculty Advisors, Matthew Hansel and Steven Vincent, includes:
Samantha Canode of Bellevue, Ohio
Anna Engel of Port Hope, Mich.
Nathan Hall of Flushing, Mich.
Dylan Johnston of Grand Blanc, Mich.
Tallon Komar of Swartz Creek, Mich.
Shaylynne Simons of Muskegon, Mich.
Dillon Viar of Birch Run, Mich.
Brandon Webster of Linden, Mich.
Baker College’s cybersecurity program has regularly been recognized on the competitive stage, and since 2007 has earned multiple state-level championships, Midwest regional titles and national competition victories. Baker College also holds a national CAE-CDE (Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education) designation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency, which it retains through the 2024 academic year.
More information on Baker College’s cyber defense programs is available at baker.edu.