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Collegiate Cyber Defense Invitational

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Teams from several Michigan colleges will compete in the Michigan Collegiate Cyber Defense Network Invitational on Saturday, November 1, 2014. Baker College (Clinton, Flint & Jackson campuses), Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Henry Ford Community College, Jackson College and University of Detroit Mercy will all have teams competing in the cyber security event.

The all-day competition will feature 150 virtual machines and 12 computer networks, with the collegiate teams working to secure their networks while maintaining business functionality. The teams will participate in the competition via web interface, using the virtual infrastructure of the Michigan Cyber Range.
Michigan Cyber Range logo
The Michigan Cyber Range, powered by Merit Network, is sponsoring the event and supplying the virtual environment where the competition will take place. Merit’s Secure Sandbox simulates a real-world networked environment with virtual machines, however, it is completely isolated and secure. This ensures that the students can explore and experiment in a virtual world, without compromising their campus networks.

The Michigan Collegiate Cyber Defense Network (MCCDN) is a group comprised of network engineers, security experts and educators who volunteer their time to advance cyber defense education in the state of Michigan. “The goal of the MCCDN is to increase awareness of cyber security issues, advance skills and build a strong cyber security industry in Michigan by training its future professionals,” said Jacob Brabbs, a cyber security analyst for Merit Network. Brabbs is the lead network & systems engineer for MCCDN.

On the morning of the event, each student team will be provided with identical systems, containing the overall architecture and network configuration for the invitational. The configuration for the November 1, 2014 invitational will include a virtual Cisco router, a first for a MCCDN competition. Each team is expected to keep their network operational, prevent unauthorized access, and accurately identify compromises and compromise attempts.

Upon completion of the invitational, one team will be deemed the winner. Scores are based on a team’s ability to keep critical systems running, the number of service requests completed, incident response techniques and mitigation planning.

The MCCDN Invitational is an opportunity for educational institutions in the state of Michigan to practice cyber security skills in a competitive environment and have those skills evaluated by industry experts, improving the cyber defense workforce of the future.

About Michigan Cyber Range

The Michigan Cyber Range prepares cybersecurity professionals to detect, prevent and mitigate cyber-attacks in a real-world setting. Like a test track or a firing range, the Michigan Cyber Range enables individuals and organizations to conduct “live fire” exercises: simulations that test the detection and reaction skills of participants in a variety of situations. The Michigan Cyber Range also offers certification courses for a number of cybersecurity disciplines, with instruction available on-site and live online. A full training schedule may be found at the Merit Michigan Cyber Range web site:

The Michigan Cyber Range is hosted and facilitated by Merit Network in partnership with the State of Michigan and with the sponsorship of DTE Energy.

About Merit Network

Merit Network, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations. For more information: