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UND CyberHawks Soar in the National Cybersecurity Showdown

The UND CyberHawks team consisted of four graduate students from left to right: Niroop Sugunaraj, Barathwaja Subash Chandar, Shree Ram Abayankar Balaji, and Akshay Ram Ramchandra. Photo courtesy of Shree Ram Abayankar Balaj, UND.

The University of North Dakota’s team, known as the UND CyberHawks, proudly participated in the CyberForce® Program, a national cybersecurity competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and supported by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

Comprising four graduate students, namely Akshay Ram Ramchandar, Shree Ram Abayankar Balaji, Barathwaja Subash Chandar, and Niroop Sugunaraj, the team entered this challenging competition.

They competed against 102 other teams from 75 colleges across the country and secured the 49th position, showcasing their expertise in defensive cybersecurity.

Photo courtesy of Shree Ram Abayankar Balaj, UND.

This two-day competition presented teams with real-world scenarios involving red team attack chains, pushing them to apply their cybersecurity skills. Before the event, teams were required to prepare and submit various deliverables, including documentation, video briefings, and vulnerability assessments.

During the competition, their task was to safeguard their systems from cyberattacks, address anomalies, and fortify their infrastructure. Furthermore, the event offered an opportunity for networking with fellow cybersecurity students and professionals, facilitating knowledge exchange and learning from their experiences.

The UND CyberHawks express their immense pride and gratitude for the unwavering support they received from their peers, mentors, and the University of North Dakota. They also extend their congratulations to other teams for their outstanding performance and sportsmanship. The CyberForce® Program stands as an exceptional platform for the growth and development of cybersecurity professionals while contributing to the industry’s advancement. With great anticipation, they eagerly await their participation in the competition next year.

To learn more about the CyberForce® Program, visit the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) website here.

Written by John Nguyen  //  UND College of Engineering & Mines