BW Students Place Third in CCDC Midwest Regionals


Professor Kenneth Atchinson, Computer Science

BW CCDC Team placed 3rd out of 10 for the Spring 2014 year.

Nicole Salapa, Contributing Writer

Eight Baldwin Wallace students traveled to Moraine Valley Community College in Chicago for the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.
The students competed in the Midwest regionals, vying for the top spot and a trip to nationals held in Texas.
The competition, held from March 28-29, lasted for about 15 hours.
During this time the students must keep a business website while their servers are up and running. They then try to fend off professional hackers and work through other business problem-solving tasks and scenarios.
The “blue teams,” or collegiate teams, must fight the “red team” hackers that include representatives from organizations like Wells-Fargo, U.S. Homeland Security, Dell and Boeing.
Aric Gady, a senior triple-major at Baldwin Wallace, is team captain this year. He has participated in CCDC for the past four years.
“I’ve learned more about security in this environment in four years than I probably would ever have learned in a classroom,” Gady said. “It’s real world application.”
The competition is divided into three categories.
First, network security requires competitors to keep the system up, running and uncompromised.
Next, the business scenario portion of CCDC asks the students to complete business tasks and role play. The role play consists of working for a major business.
Finally, injects, or instant response reports, are required when the system becomes compromised and teams must handle problems quickly and document them correctly.
The judges score teams on all three  categories and decide the winner based on a balance of the three.
“That kind of experience is extremely valuable for us to be able to bring into our systems,” said Alan Greenberg of PPL Utilities in an interview after last year’s Midwest Regionals.
And in the downtime before and during the competition, a different kind of network forms.
“I’ve gotten three internships with the same company, which started via [CCDC],” Gady said.
CCDC encourages competitors to get to know the professionals they are up against.
They host networking sessions and mixers where students and professionals can mingle, talk about different  professions and opportunities and form connections.
Competing in CCDC can lead to internship opportunities, or the chance to jump-start a career within the Computer Science field.
The experience from the intense competition will be valuable in terms of the work place and future opportunities.
This year marked a first for Baldwin Wallace’s CCDC team in terms of membership.
Erin McDermott, a sophomore Computer Network and Security Analysis major, is the first female member of CCDC in the history of the team.
“I’m nervous, because it’s the first time a girl has gone for Baldwin Wallace,” McDermott said. “It’s going to be really interesting to see what goes on.”
Baldwin Wallace has won the Ohio competition for years, but has not previously moved on to nationals.
After competing with schools such as CSU and Case Western, BW’s team has “dominated the CCDC in Ohio for the past several years,” according to the Midwest Regional CCDC website.
The level of competition experienced in this particular field is complex and rigorous.
“It’s a very select niche that would understand the concept of CCDC,” Gady said.
Next spring, the Baldwin Wallace CCDC team will begin fresh, competing to keep the title of Ohio CCDC champions.
The CCDC team placed third out of ten for this 2014 Spring Year.