Cybersecurity competition brings together top teams from across the region

March 07, 2018

Regis University will host the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC) this Friday and Saturday at its Denver Tech Center campus – the seventh year for both the competition and the University’s hosting.

The competition allows teams to test their cybersecurity skills, knowledge and abilities. The top-performing team will represent the Rocky Mountain region at a national event in San Antonio, Texas, April 13-15.

A preliminary qualifying round held in February narrowed the competition to the top eight teams: Regis University, the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado State University, the University of New Mexico, LDS Business College, Brigham Young University, Southern Utah University and Utah Valley University.

The team that wins will have more than the appropriate skills to proceed to the national event, predicted Steve Fulton, a Regis associate professor of Information Systems and the new director of Regis’ Center for Information Assurance Studies, who helped organize the event.

“It’s all about how well the individual teams work together,” Fulton said.

Starting Friday morning, teams will be 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 will attempt 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.

“We always try to throw in something unique each year,” Fulton said. “This year it’s ‘threat intelligence’ – the systematic analysis of potential hazards. It’s big right now. As in real life, for the competition, some of these identified threats will be applicable to their environment and some won’t. Each team will have to sort those out and apply the threat intelligence to their individual environment.”

While fending off cyberattacks, the teams will have to simulate a normal workday, such as responding to a CEO’s sudden, deadline-driven request.

“The goal is for these students to secure their systems but also to be aware of the business environment and respond to it appropriately,” Fulton said. “It’s very real life.”

The competition is supposed to be fun, but Fulton acknowledges students are pushed to their limits.

“They get very wrapped up in it and want to do their best,” he said.         

The competition requires the support of about 100 volunteers, including nearly a dozen who designed and configured the environment as well as those who will role play during the event, score the teams and more.

“The core group of volunteers have been working months on this,” Fulton said. “Most of them are Regis students past and present. They’re very dedicated. We couldn’t do this without their help. They truly deserve our thanks.”

The winning team will be announced at the event’s conclusion, around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

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