Cybersecurity Center Events and Competitions

Purdue Global students compete in both campus-based and virtual cybersecurity events. Cybersecurity competitions enable students to develop their skills for the workplace, network with peers and employers, and gain hands-on experience relevant to their studies.

Read More About Cybersecurity Competitions on our Blog
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Campus-Based Competitions

Midwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

Collegiate Cyber Defense Competitions (CCDC) are held annually at the state level, with winning teams going on to compete in the Midwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MWCCDC) and national competitions. Teams act as newly hired network and security administrators for a small company and must defend against an active cyberattack. Students have an opportunity to network with industry professionals while testing their cyber knowledge in a real-world scenario.

Learn More About CCDC

National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC)

The largest cyber competition, the annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition requires participants to defend a corporate network against a cyberattack while ensuring typical business resources such as email, websites, and databases, continue to function. The competition highlights the role standard operation procedures, business continuity plans, and disaster recovery procedures play during a cybersecurity attack.

Learn More About NCCDC

Virtual Cybersecurity Competitions

National Cyber League (NCL)

The biannual National Cyber League is a learning-centered cybersecurity competition that allows students to demonstrate their technical cybersecurity skills. Purdue Global students team up with a faculty coach to face cybersecurity challenges relevant to the workforce, including using forensic data to identify hackers and finding ways to recover from ransomware attacks. Many of the activities directly align with Purdue Global cybersecurity and IT courses. Purdue Global students can visit the Cybersecurity Club classroom for details and preparation activities.

Learn More About NCL

Past Cyber Defense Events

  • 2022 Hack the Port Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) Edition

    Purdue Global undergraduate and graduate students combined their efforts to demonstrate their exceptional skills and compete in the Maryland Innovation and Security Institute (MISI) Hack the Port, Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) Edition, July 26–28, 2022. The students and their coach traveled to the event at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) in Gulfport, Mississippi. This comprehensive cyber exercise included a red team/blue team style event, in which the teams experienced simulated attacks on critical infrastructure at maritime facilities.

    The team of five online students traveled from all over the country to participate in the event. Undergraduate cybersecurity students Nick Huser and Michael Staats made the trip from Indiana. Jacob Mack, a graduate cybersecurity management student, came from New York, and undergraduate cybersecurity student Andres Coronado traveled across the country from New Mexico. The final team member, a recent graduate, made the journey from California. The team was supported by their faculty coach, Donald McCracken, PhD, from North Carolina, who joined the group in Mississippi.

    After the rigorous event, the team was recognized and awarded with a silver medal/second place blue team trophy for their performance. These competitions enable students at all levels to put their academic learning to the test and hone their hands-on skills. This was also a great opportunity for students to connect with each other, meet students from other universities, and expand their personal networks.

    Purdue Global students Andre Coronado, Jacob Mack, Michael Staats, and Nicholas Huser standing in a lobby
    Purdue Global 2022 Hack the Port ELF Edition team members Andre
    Coronado, Jacob Mack, Michael Staats, and Nicholas Huser
    Purdue Global students sitting in a classroom at the Hack the Port cybersecurity event
    Purdue Global students participating in the 2022 Hack the Port, ELF Edition
    cybesecurity event in Gulfport, Mississippi
    Purdue Global students Andre Coronado, Jacob Mack, Michael Staats, Nicholas Huser, and Wyn Forsterat standing on the floor of the Hack the Port 2022 cybersecurity competition
    Purdue Global cybersecurity students at the Hack the Port competition
    Hack the Port 2022 Executive Leadership Forum Silver Medal trophy
    Hack the Port 2022 Executive Leadership Forum Silver Medal trophy
    Purdue Global students Andre Coronado, Jacob Mack, Michael Staats, Nicholas Huser, and Wyn Forsterat holding the Hack the Port 2022 Executive Leadership Forum Silver Medal trophy
    Purdue Global cybersecurity team members accepting the silver
    medal trophy at the 2022 Hack the Port event
  • 2022 National Cyber League Spring Competition

    The spring 2022 NCL season’s top Purdue Global team, PUGosaurus-ft-the-pterohacktyls, ranked 93 out of 3,658 teams, placing them in the 98th percentile. In addition, the team PGIP-Technology ranked 334, placing them in the 91st percentile.

    In the individual games, Purdue Global’s MentalForklift ranked 8th place out of 6,010 individual players, landing him in the 100th percentile with a total of 2,700 points out of a possible 3,000, which is his best season yet!

    Several other top performers who continue to improve each season are listed below, and it's great to see some first-timers taking a shot as well:

    • Ted Gransbury: 2,010 points
    • Jaime Fernandez: 1,615
    • Sean Van de Voorde: 1,370 points
    • Robin Clark: 980
    • Stephen Paul: 915
    • Ashley MacDonald: 405
    • Nick Huser: 335
    • Neil Edmund: 145

    Also notable is that Purdue Global ranked 25th in the nation in the Cyber Power Rankings: https://cyberskyline.com/data/power-ranking/spring-2022-national.

  • 2021 National Cyber League Fall Competition

    In the fall 2021 NCL competition, the top Purdue Global team of cybersecurity and IT students, PUGosaurus ft the PteroHACKtyls, ranked 48 out of 3,910 teams, placing the team in the 99th percentile nationally. Purdue Global’s PUG Cyberbullies ranked 334 out of the 3,910 teams, landing them in the 92nd percentile nationally. Team Lintomu (all first-time NCL players) also competed this season and ranked 801, placing them in the respectable 80th percentile.

    In the individual games, Purdue Global’s Sean Van de Voorde ranked 117 out of 6,480 players, earning gold again this year and placing in the 99th percentile nationally. Ted Gransbury ran a close second, placing 194, in the 98th percentile. The maximum points that can be earned in the individual game is 3,000. Purdue Global’s top competitors listed by total points are below:

    • Sean Van de Voorde: 2,435 points
    • Ted Gransbury: 2,220 points
    • Joe Bechtold: 1,860 points
    • MentalForklift: 1,820 points
    • Nick Huser: 890 points
    • George Karrys: 865 points
    • William Hansen: 760 points
    • Tremayne Durham: 755 points
    • Robin Clark: 1,010 points
    • Carla Lewis: 525 points
  • 2021 National Cyber League Spring Competition

    In the spring 2021 NCL competition, the top Purdue Global team of cybersecurity and IT students, Locking Stitch, ranked 81 out of 922 teams, placing the team in the 92nd percentile nationally. Purdue Global’s PUG Hacks ranked 138 out of 922 teams, which lands them in the 86th percentile nationally. Team PUG also competed and ranked 418, placing them in the respectable 55th percentile. Special kudos to Professor Gustavo Gomez for all of his support with the competition. 

    In the individual games, Purdue Global’s MentalForklift ranked 55 out of 4,180 players, earning gold yet again this year. The maximum points that can be earned in the individual game is 3,000. Purdue Global’s top 10 competitors listed by total points are below:

    • MentalForklift: 2,215 points
    • Sean Van de Voorde: 1,280 points
    • Ted Gransbury: 1,125 points
    • Ellen McCullough: 1,070 points
    • Robin Clark: 905 points
    • Joseph Bechtold: 855 points
    • Carla Lewis: 635 points
    • Nathan Maerk: 580
    • Brandon Yopp: 580
    • Barbs Spaghet: 480
    • Quin Geans: 65 points
  • 2020 National Cyber League Fall Competition

    In the fall 2020 NCL season, the Purdue Global cybersecurity and IT students formed four teams to compete in the NCL event, with two teams placing in the top 100. The top team, Locking Stitch@Purdue University Global, ranked 58 overall among 957 teams. In addition, Ode to Code@Purdue University Global ranked 97.

    In the individual games, Purdue Global’s MentalForklift team ranked 46 out of 6,011 players, earning gold again this year. In addition, Matt Watson ranked 63 out of 6,011 competitors, also earning gold. The maximum points that can be earned in the individual game is 3,000. Below are Purdue Global’s top competitors listed by total points:

    • MentalForklift: 2,285 points
    • Matt Watson: 2,205 points
    • Bre’Ona Williams 1,705 points
    • Ted Gransbury: 1,645 points
    • Daniel Smith: 1,385 points
    • Sal Martinez: 1,245 points
    • Sean Van de Voorde: 1,150 points
    • Ellen McCullough 950 points
    • David Randle: 720 points
    • Jacob Calleon: 720 points
    • Carla Lewis: 715 points
    • Robin Clark: 650 points
    • Nick Huser: 645 points
    • Robert Randle: 490 points
    • Barbs Spaghet: 435 points
    • Theresa McFarlane: 430 points
  • 2020 National Cyber League Spring Competition

    The Purdue Global cybersecurity and IT students ranked 41 overall out of more than 300 teams competing in the Spring 2020 NCL Competition. In individual games, Purdue Global’s MentalForklift ranked 61 out of 5,357 competitors, earning gold, while the PGP-Purdue Global Players also earned gold in the team games.

  • 2020 Indiana Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

    The talented cybersecurity and IT students of Purdue Global competed against seven other teams in their second Midwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition state qualifying event in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on February 8, 2020.

    Teams in the competition worked together to detect and defend against cyberattacks while using their IT skills. Dean Jeffrey Buck stated, “The Purdue Global team excelled in a number of categories and earned designation as top performer in areas such as Palo Alto tech support, network traffic baseline, and credentialing response.”

    View photos of Purdue Global students participating in the event.

  • 2019 Midwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

    A team of students from Purdue University’s Global School of Business and Information Technology competed in the 2019 Midwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) state qualifying event at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. The team went on to compete in the 2019 NCL Spring Season.

    Purdue Global students at a cybersecurity competition
    The 2019 Purdue Global Midwest Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition team
    and Dean Jeffrey Buck.
    Purdue Global students at a cybersecurity competition
    Purdue Global students participating in the 2019 Midwest Collegiate
    Cyber Defense Competition in Indiana.
  • 2019 HackIN Reverse Engineering Hackathon

    HackIN is a hardware/firmware reverse engineering event where teams compete to provide cyber incident response in a real-world scenario. While role-playing as members of an elite security research team, HackIN participants provided cyber incident response and were challenged to identify and solve cybersecurity issues using software (and sometimes hardware) solutions.

    Learn More About HackIN

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