Monday, May 29, 2023 | 08:19 am

Second-Place Finish for the WWU Cybersecurity Club at the Cyber-Defense Regionals

Second-Place Finish for the WWU Cybersecurity Club at the Cyber-Defense Regionals

Western Washington University’s Cybersecurity Club competed in The Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (PRCCDC) on March 24 and 25 in Pasco and took second place against 11 teams from other colleges across the Pacific Northwest.

The club will compete again on April 5 for a shot to continue to nationals.

For the competition, each team of eight students is given an identical preconfigured network that mimics what is used by real-world small businesses. A volunteer team of cybersecurity professionals provides the “external threat” that all internet-based services face, so the groups can match their defensive skills against live opponents who are trying to hack their sites.

The teams are scored on their abilities to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain the availability of existing servers, respond to business requests, and balance security needs against business needs.

“There were other teams we saw that did not gel, as well as us, and I think that really played to our strengths and allowed us to approach the competition in a much more cohesive way,” said team captain Noah Reneau of Liberty Lake.

The students who competed on behalf of Western were Reneau; Nate Fortner of Mukilteo, domain controller; Ian Collins of Port Angeles; firewall specialist; Sunny Virk of Bellingham, Windows specialist, Russel Vanderveen of Bellingham, Cisco admin; Charanvir Singh of Kamtapur, India, Windows specialist; Edwin Chan of Hong Kong, Linux specialist; Nathaniel Rodgers of Portland, Oregon, Linux specialist, and Khang Tran of Saigon, Vietnam, support.

In the upcoming wild card competition, all second-place teams from the country’s nine regional competitions will compete for the one wild card slot at nationals, being held in Dallas, Texas, later this spring.

Western Washington University’s team also placed second in the 2021 PRCCDC. The last time WWU secured a spot in Nationals was in 2014.