Competition brought together top teams from across the region

March 12, 2018

Eight teams vied for the coveted top spot at the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC) hosted by Regis University on March 9 and 10, but only one team – top-performing Utah Valley University – will represent the Rocky Mountain region at a national event in Orlando, Florida, April 13-15.

Colorado State University took second place, Southern Utah University took third and Regis University was fourth.

The competition allowed teams to test their cybersecurity skills, knowledge and abilities. Held at the University’s Denver Tech Center, it was the seventh year for both the competition and the University’s hosting.

A preliminary qualifying round held in February narrowed the competition to the top eight teams. The other four competing teams were the United States Air Force Academy, the University of New Mexico, LDS Business College and Brigham Young University.

While fending off cyberattacks, each team had to simulate a normal workday, such as responding to a CEO’s sudden, deadline-driven request. Utah Valley did that the best this year, said Rick Cisneros, a project scientist with Regis’ College of Computer & Information Sciences and the co-director of RMCCDC.

On Friday morning, teams were briefed about a business scenario, given computers, printers and other electronic equipment as well as the applications and internet services needed to run a simulated business. Each team then had to secure its business from cyberattacks waged by a team of 30 crafty volunteers attempting to break into the systems throughout the two-day event.

Every year, organizers throw in a new challenge – this year’s was “threat intelligence,” the systemic analysis of potential hazards. Some of the threats were valid while others weren’t; each team had to sort those out and apply the threat intelligence to their individual business scenarios.

“They learn all this cybertech stuff in their coursework and at club sessions but you really see how it all comes together at one of these competitions,” Cisneros said. “Now it’s live and it’s real. Things are quick to change, and they have to respond quickly. It builds team skills.”                               

Established in 1877, Regis University is a premier, globally engaged institution of higher learning in the Jesuit tradition that prepares leaders to live productive lives of faith, meaning and service. Regis University, one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, has four campus locations in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs and extensive online program offerings with more than 11,000 enrolled students. For more information, visit