SCC to Compete in Cyber Defense Competition

Students from Sampson Community College will compete in this year’s Southeast Regional Cyber Defense Competition. In February, the preliminary exercise will be held at SCC. If the team makes the top eight, they will compete in regionals in Georgia. Sponsored by Kennesaw State University, winners of the regionals will represent the southeast at the National competition in San Antonio, TX in April.

Nathan McKee says the competition will be exciting for his students and himself. “Our team will compete against universities and colleges across the southeast,” he says.  “We will have a network set up like a business with email servers, web servers and databases. Another team will be trying to hack our system and we must keep them out. It will be fun because some of these people are professional hackers.”


McKee inspects networking equipment at SCC.

Last year, competing schools included Clemson, the University of Central Florida, UNC Charlotte, UNC Wilmington, the University of Florida, Mercer University, the University of South Alabama and Kennesaw State. The competition came about as an effort to help facilitate the development of a regular, national level cyber security exercise, the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio more than a decade ago.

KSU’s Center for Information Security Education attended the original presentation and recognized the value of the program. KSU volunteered to create a similar event and decided to provide a regional competition to recognize the best team in the southeast. The competition focuses on the live aspect of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure. While other exercises examine the abilities of a group of students to design, configure, and protect a network for an entire semester, this competition focuses on the more operational task of assuming administrative and protective duties for an existing “commercial” network.

“I thought it would be fun and offer a great experience for our folks,” says McKee. “A lot of big colleges will compete against us. This will be our first time competing, so no doubt we will be the underdogs to win but it will be an awesome experience regardless of the outcome.” For more information about the competition, visit For more information about Information Technology courses at SCC, contact McKee at