Security Dawgs Take Second Place

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Security Dawgs Take Second Place

November 20, 2013

Cyber security has been a tradition of excellence for Southern Illinois University’s program of Information Systems Technologies with the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. The Security Dawgs, a registered student organization, is an information technology group composed of students both in and out of the department. The Security Dawgs consist of not only Tech Dawgs members, another RSO based on information technology, but as a completely interdisciplinary team has also drawn interest from students who study anything from English to political science. Belle Woodward, associate professor of Information Systems and Applied Technologies, said being a member of the group helps create a reliable sense of community within the information technology department.

“It instills a sense of belonging, so I think it helps the university have a stronger relationship with the students who then become alumni,” Woodward said.

The SIU Security Dawgs student cyber security team finished second in the monthly Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance Cyber Wars competition. The team finished behind Northern Kentucky University in the November event. The team, which rotates participants from its approximately twenty members, was comprised of Gary Clark, Marcus Wood and Imani Hudson, all information systems technologies majors; Brian Gunn, computer science, and Zach Moore, business administration.  The team has competed since 2006 and taken home first- or second-place trophies every year except once in 2011.

The competition was an eight-hour online battle that combined offense and defense. The CSSIA is supported by the National Science Foundation and provides students with real-world experiences in the field of cyber-security. Because the field of cyber-security changes so quickly, competitions like CSSIA’s are taking on an increasingly important role as a way for students to demonstrate their skills to potential employers and for universities to ensure that their security curricula are up to date.

Woodward said the group is more of a team that competes with other universities in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition to see who can best manage and protect an existing commercial network infrastructure with the knowledge team members have gained in their field.