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Defense wins championships - Cyber Defense Championship banner raised in Golisano atrium

By Scott Bureau

A new banner hanging in Golisano Hall at Rochester Institute of Technology proves that defense really does win championships, especially when it comes to cyber security.

To commemorate RIT’s first National Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship, the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences has raised a championship banner in the Golisano Hall atrium. The banner was unveiled at a ceremony Oct. 12 during RIT’s Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend. The team was also presented with the competition’s signature trophy, The Alamo Cup.

“This national championship is the ‘Super Bowl’ of the cyber security field and RIT was able to defeat esteemed universities, such as University of Washington and United States Air Force Academy,” said Jeremy Haefner, RIT provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Bo Yuan, an associate professor of computing security and coach of the RIT student team, noted that the trophy would remain on display at the Golisano College for the rest of the year and hopefully many more.

“This win is as satisfying, if not more so, than many of our sports achievements, as this is an academic achievement and academics are our focus at RIT,” says RIT President Bill Destler.

RIT competed against nine other regional winners at the eighth annual national competition held April 19–21 in San Antonio. In RIT’s fourth trip to nationals in six years, the student team beat second-place Dakota State University and third-place Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the largest college-level cyber defense competition in the United States. During the two-day competition, teams work straight from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. fending off cyber attacks while also completing the other tasks.

“This coming year will be my fourth time participating in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition,” says Benjamin Andrews, a computing security graduate student from Harpursville, N.Y., and the team’s captain. “Each year I find that it’s a learning experience I will take with me into the real world.”