Cal Poly Pomona Cyber Collaborative

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Cal Poly Pomona Cybersecurity Team Wins International Competition

Photo credit: Scott Hamilton. A sceenshot of the Cyber team on Zoom.A student cybersecurity team from Cal Poly Pomona has won the international Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC), which challenges the world’s brightest cybersecurity students to put their hacking skills to the test.

In the competition, the cybersecurity teams were “hired” to serve as what are called pentesters for a fictitious candy and croissant factory, tasked with using their hacking skills to evaluate the business’s weaknesses and provide solutions to prevent future breaches.

Eberhardt, team co-captain, said the university’s experiential and hands-on learning approach was a major factor leading to the team’s success and his career. He has already been hired as an incident response consultant at CrowdStrike.

“Making sure we are very effective in business skills, to make us stand out to give overall business value differentiated Cal Poly Pomona from the other teams,” Eberhardt said. “A lot of our success comes from always pushing each other to get better and better.”

Photo credit: Scott Hamilton

Cal Poly Pomona Student Cyber Team Third in International Competition

CPP Student Cyber Team on ZoomA Cal Poly Pomona student cybersecurity team placed third in at the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC) international finals Jan. 7-10, 2021

During the event, 15 teams used their hacking skills as penetration testers for a fictitious small city. They assessed the security of the network and its energy grid infrastructure, managing a hydroelectric dam, a nuclear power plant, and a wind farm system connected to a regional power utility company.

The team’s work included hacking into fabricated computer networks, evaluating weaknesses, responding to client issues and monitoring systems connected with the city’s dam to make sure it didn’t over- or under-fill.

Prior to the event, the team outranked more than 100 North American universities to earn a place in the finals. They practiced their cyber skills through on campus organizations and student-run centers, including the Mitchell C. Hill Data Center, Malware Analysis Lab and Security Operations Center. CPP students have placed third in this competition two consecutive years.

“As I start my professional career out of undergrad, I will look back upon the skills that I have built up by being part of competitions such as this which emulate real-world experiences,” Andy Chiang said.

Cal Poly Pomona Places Top Three in National Cyber Competition

Cyber student team pose with their trophies in a group photo.A team of six Cal Poly Pomona cybersecurity students placed third in the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition International Finals in November in Rochester, New York. Joseph Dillon, a computer information science senior, credits Cal Poly Pomona’s cyber clubs and experiential education for providing him with additional opportunities outside of the classroom and helping him to gain skills and knowledge applicable in a work environment.

“Having that hands-on experience really gave us the ability to learn more outside of our classes,” Dillon said. “With our clubs, we’re doing something objective-based that helps us know how the computer environments are set up and knowing what kind of weaknesses machines typically have. That is invaluable, and having that prior knowledge and general experience really gives you a lot of skills.”

Cybersecurity: Cal Poly Pomona Students on the Digital Frontlines

Silas ShenCal Poly Pomona students talk about the academic centers, career-building resources and research opportunities available to them that helped to strengthen their skills and pursue their future career.

“I think what we’re doing at the student-run data center is what we’re going to be doing in the work field,” Danieli Galan (’19, computer information systems) says. “A lot of students don’t have the resources to work with the actual hardware because it’s really expensive, but we get to work with it at the center. Each team member also has different skills and we all learn from each other and help each other.”

CyberCorps: Scholarships for Service

Group of graduates celebrate during commencementThe National Science Foundation CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program prepares students pursuing a cybersecurity profession, providing them with industry-level knowledge and skills and are hired directly after graduation by federal and government agencies. Three Cal Poly Pomona alumni share their academic experiences and where they went after graduation.