Points of Pride

Information Systems Students Place Third at Information Security Summit

A team of seven CSU Information Systems students placed third in the "Capture-the-Flag" (CTF) cyber competition on October 22, 2019 at the I-X Center. The day long, hands-on computer-based event was hosted on Student Day at the week-long Information Security Summit, the largest annual cyber security industry event in Northeast Ohio. 

Capture the Flag (CTF) cyber security competitions are similar to safe, isolated, cyber war games used as an engaging educational method to strengthen cyber security skills. CTFs require participants to apply critical thinking and technology skills to conduct and react to types of cyber attacks found in the real world. CTF competitions are a game of wit and technical skill as participants hunt for “flags” to capture on target systems. 

Information Security Summit - CSU Team of Students 2019

Pictured above are the participating students (Left to Right): Vincent Ekeh (IST 656), Todd Weber (IST 445), Zachary Kascak (IST 445), Anthony Williams (IST 656), Alan Leporati (IST 656),  Nahla Youssef (IST 656) and David Shaw (IST 656).

When CSU student team members were asked what they thought about the event, the most common response was, “It was fun!” They were excited to see how successful they were in applying lessons from course labs to solve security challenges, while also discovering new security techniques. Students went on to explain how certain exercises could have been solved if there was a little more time in the competition. They wanted to keep playing to see their proposed solutions solve the puzzle.

In higher-education cyber security programs, many college teams tend to participate in cyber competitions each year, because they are fun and a great way to learn. They are also highly competitive! 

The CSU student team was impressively competitive and placed after Tiffin University.

"This was a fantastic performance especially consider that this was the students' first time participating in the CTF competition," said faculty advisor Janine Spears. "Other university teams came from cyber security degree programs in engineering or computer science colleges."