Baylor University Cyber Security Team Claims Regional Title, Advances to Nationals

Cyber Security Team Photo 2018
Baylor University's Cyber Security Student Organization team recently won the Southwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) and will advance to compete in the National CCDC.
March 29, 2018

Media Contact: Eric M. Eckert, 254-710-1964
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WACO, Texas (March 29, 2018) – Thirteen Baylor University students on the Baylor University Cyber Security Student Organization team won the Southwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) and will advance to the National CCDC, where they will compete April 13-15 in Orlando, Florida.

“The team works incredibly hard to prepare for CCDC competition,” said Jeff Donahoo, Ph.D., professor of computer science at Baylor and coach of the BU Cyber Security team. “We practice together for five hours every week, and each member then spends additional time on their own to develop their specific capabilities. To train, we have built a system where we can attack hackers without damaging campus systems.”

During the regional competition, the Baylor team came in first against seven other teams from five states in the region.

“Cybersecurity is about safeguarding our private information and protecting the critical infrastructures we all depend on for our daily lives,” Donahoo said. “Here, it is not sufficient to just be good at cybersecurity; one must be better than those who would do harm. The better individual – hacker or security – is determined in competition, whether simulated or real. Contests like CCDC allow future practitioners to compete where failure, while unpleasant, is constructive.”

National CCDC competitions test team’s cybersecurity skills by having them defend a commercial network against attacks by a “red team” of professional hackers. Teams are scored on their ability to minimize system infiltration, keep critical services in operation and prevent exfiltration of sensitive data.

In 2005, the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio agreed to host the first CCDC for the Southwestern region. This competition was held to help facilitate the development of a regular, national-level cyber security exercise.

The eight competing team members include Jack Swenson, Bogdan Pyzh, Connor Shride, Brendon Kelley, Dalton Wright, Nathaniel Stickney, Zack Jordan and Michael Eamma.

For more information about Baylor cyber security, visit the Information Technology Services website.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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