Surviving Under Stress - Training a Cyberdefense Team for Nationals presented at saintcon 2016

by Dale Rowe,

Summary : In 2016, a BYU team won their regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) held in Denver, Colorado. Enduring two days as a Blue Team while under constant attack from a Red Team, BYU's team was quickly noticed for their positive attitude, continuous laughter and significant lead over their competitors. Less than a month later they traveled to San Antonio to represent the Rocky Mountain Region at the National CCDC competition. In a contest that rarely sees a first time competitor rank in the top three, the team almost nudged UCF from their 2-year victory and wound up coming in a neck-and-neck second place.
In this presentation we will discuss how the team trained, prepared and played together to create a truly unique experience for themselves and the sponsors. We will discuss the effectiveness of song, dance, technical training, gaming and planning. We will also discuss how, as the first gender-balanced CCDC team in Regional and National CCDC history, the team coped with the myriad of technical and procedural challenges while maintaining a positive outlook.
We hope that anyone who has worked as a systems administrator, incident responder, security analyst or penetration tester will appreciate some of the quirks and unusual, but effective methods used by this team to achieve their victory.