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News Release

Nov. 28, 2018

Northwest students place high in National Cyber League contest

Northwest Missouri State University students tested their cybersecurity knowledge and placed high during the National Cyber League (NCL) competition Nov. 16-18.

NCL provides students a cybersecurity training ground in a high-fidelity simulation environment. Participants practice their skills and use various tools while solving real problems with actual deadlines under time, technical and resource constraints.

The competition involves undergraduate and graduate students from universities throughout the country participating online in a “regular season” individual session before teams of up to five students participate in a “postseason” team competition. Teams compete in gold, silver or bronze divisions based on individual scores from the regular season.

A Northwest team of Dave Chen, Daniel Favor, Cole Houston, Brad Taylor and Andrew Proctor placed ninth out of 54 teams in the gold division and 10th overall among a total of 368 teams competing in all divisions.

A second Northwest team of Jack Hill, Michael Baumli, Jesse Reed, Vitaliy Tsytsyk and Zane Salam placed 21st out of 189 teams in the bronze division and 130th overall.

The participating Northwest students also represent the University’s Cyber Defense Club.

“The Cyber Defense Club has without a doubt been one of the biggest influences and educational outlets for going deep into the field and allowing me to understand which area of security I want to go into,” Taylor, a senior computer science major from Kansas City, Missouri, said.

Taylor began work last year as a data security analyst intern at American Century Investments and will begin full-time work there after graduating from Northwest in December. “CDC has given me the know-how and tools to begin to get started in the field, in addition to making meaningful connections with students and faculty.”

NCL assists higher education institutions throughout the country with student preparation for its events and for professional certifications. Companies seeking qualified talent can access the NCL’s scouting reports to evaluate potential cybersecurity professionals who have demonstrated skills in the NCL events.

“Competitions like NCL are an amazing way for people still in school, studying cybersecurity to gain practical experience in this field,” Daniel Favor, a senior computer science major from Grain Valley, Missouri, said. “NCL does a fantastic job providing a wide range of challenges for us to solve. Each challenge is unique, even within the same category. This, along with using actual tools from the industry, really provided students the technical and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in cybersecurity. In addition to these competitions, the courses that are now being offered at Northwest offer students the opportunity to learn in detail about the various aspects of cybersecurity.”

Northwest launched its Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity this fall. For more information about Northwest’s cybersecurity program, visit Major in Cybersecurity at Northwest Missouri State University.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215