Lewis Makes Debut in Illinois Cyber Defense Competition

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Lewis University Students Make Their Debut in Illinois Cyber Defense Competition

Published: March 1, 2016.

They have won multiple awards on the regional and national levels, but there has been one contest that has eluded the Lewis University Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences students. This year, they competed in the 2016 Illinois Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition for the first time.

Students Joe Casalino of Shorewood, Cody Cosentino of Tinley Park, John Kegaly III of Clarendon Hills, Bryon Nush of Frankfort, Randle Ross of Country Club Hills, Brandon White of Lemont, Steven Day of Minooka and Alejandro Rodriguez of Seneca participated. White and Day served as team captains.

Dr. Jason Perry, assistant professor of computer science, was the faculty mentor.

The competition challenges participants to keep an information technology infrastructure functioning while new demands are placed on it and several hackers try to bring the system down.

“The team did very well and learned a lot from this experience,” said Dr. Ray Klump, professor and chair of the Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department.

The group practiced for several months for the event. It started with the extracurricular CaMS Cyber Defense Club, a student-driven cyber defense group. The students learned and practiced the tools of penetration testing. The students reinforced what they learned in the numerous cyber security courses in the Computer Science curriculum to gain a deeper understanding of how hackers compromise networks and systems. Also, they assembled a network consisting of Linux and Windows servers supporting web, email and database services from donated computers, firewalls, and switches. The students created an environment in which they could explore how to set up, take down, configure, and harden all the various platforms in the competition.

Klump plans to send a team every year, adding “Future students can have a similar opportunity to practice and apply their system administration and security skills while competing against other area schools.”

Lewis University offers a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering, with concentrations in Cyber Security, Web and Mobile Development, Data Science, and Video Game Development. It also offers minors in Computer Science, Cyber Security Science, Data Science, and Web and Mobile Application Development. At the graduate level, it offers a nationally recognized for a Master of Science in Information Security program, which includes an innovative fast-track that enables students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. A master's degree in Data Science is also available for students who wish to learn more about Big Data. A new Master of Science in Computer Science will start in August 2016.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 7,000 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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