Posted: Apr 3, 2019

By Tony Aukland

For the second year in a row, a combined cybersecurity team of Bismarck State College and University of Mary students placed 3rd in the North Central Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.  1st place was awarded to Dakota State University with Kansas State University placing 2nd.  The North Central CCDC is held during DakotaCon at Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota.   

The two-day event focuses on operational aspects of managing, securing, and defending commercial network infrastructures.  Students test their knowledge in a realistic network and operations environment.  The 1st place team receives an all expense paid trip to the national competition. 

The competition consists of a Red Team, Blue Team and White Team.  Red Team members play the role of cybersecurity professionals from businesses across multiple states attempting to infiltrate the “corporate” networks.  The Blue Team students defend their “corporate” network.  The White Team judges the competition, enforcing the rules of the exercise, resolving problems as they arise, handling all requests for information and scoring of teams.

“Cybersecurity is a priority for our state, and actively supporting students in K-12 and higher ed in these kinds of real-world scenarios is a valuable way for them to gain experience and deepen our bench in one of the fastest growing career fields,” said Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley. “These students are building a strong cybersecurity future for themselves and North Dakota. Kudos to the team and advisors for another top 3 finish!”

Student members of the team are:

  • Bismarck State College
    • Ian Johnson – team captain
    • Jacob Langerud – intern with ITD Security Department
    • Jared Phelps – intern with ND Highway Patrol IT Department
    • Austin Haakenson
    • Justin Johnson
    • Nicholas Everrit
  • University of Mary
    • Stephen Feldpausch
    • Evan Gowen

The advisors this year:

  • Matt Frohlich – Bismarck State College – Associate Professor of CIS
  • Dr. Kevin Fishbeck – University of Mary – Professor Information Technology
  • Tanya Taplin – ND Highway Patrol IT Dept. – Tanya also served as captain of last year’s team while attending college at the University of Mary.  This year, Tanya served on the White team for the CCDC event hosts.
  • Tony Aukland - NDITD Security team and NDSLIC Cybersecurity