UMaine Cyber Defense Team Advances to Regional Competition

Seven members of the University of Maine Cyber Defense Team will compete at the annual Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at the University of New Hampshire in March.

The team was one of nine out of a pool of 14 schools that qualified for the regional competition.

According to the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, the competition simulates security operations for a small company. Teams must quickly familiarize themselves with network systems and software before beginning to defend against attacks while also providing customer service to users.

Computer engineering major Benjamin Grooms will captain UMaine’s team, along with co-captain Kyle Ossinger, a computer science major. The other team members are computer science majors Albano Drazhi and Theodore Farnsworth, mechanical engineering majors Jacob Figg and John Woodill, and electrical engineering major Taylor Newton.

Computer science professor George Markowsky said the range of departments and majors represented on the team show cybersecurity skills could be developed in multiple fields. He says UMaine does not have a formal cybersecurity program, in contrast to nine of the 14 teams in the qualifying round, and credits assistant coaches Sean Lyford, John Poulin and Lucas Wood for helping to prepare the team.

The regional competition will be held March 14–16 at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. One winner and one alternate will be selected to represent the Northeast region at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in San Antonio, Texas, in April.