The Honolulu CC and UH West Oʻahu 2014 CCDC team

For the second consecutive year, a team coached by Honolulu Community College Professor Aaron Tanaka placed in the top three for the At-Large regional of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC). The team consisted of students from the Computing, Electronics and Networking Technologies (CENT) program at Honolulu CC and the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu. The At-Large regional competition included teams from two-year colleges and four-year universities in Hawaiʻi, Alaska and Pennsylvania. University of Alaska Fairbanks was the host and winner of the 2014 At-Large regional of the CCDC.

The CCDC is a three-day cyber security competition, which focuses on the operational aspects of managing and protecting a commercial information technology infrastructure. College teams consist of up to eight full-time students who operate as a Blue Team (defenders). The White Team (industry judges) is responsible for giving students injects or tasks to be accomplished as well as grading their performance. The students are required to perform these tasks while a Red Team (attackers) attempt to hack into their systems.

For this competition, the students were given the scenario of bringing online the information technology services of a company which had just fired their entire information technology staff. They were tasked with protecting and getting information technology services up while the Red Team was trying to hack into their system, reset passwords and perform other malicious activities.

The Honolulu CCUH West Oʻahu team consisted of team captains, Thomas Dwyer and Taylor Kina, along with team members, Derek Choi, Nathan Fiesta, Eric Kotake, Cliff Lagunday, Melissa Osowski and Joe Saludo. White Team judges included IT security professionals, Summer Lee, Dave Decker and Tanya Kemmler.

More on the CENT program

The CENT program at Honolulu CC provides students with a solid foundation in information and communication technology, as well as information security. The CENT program also supports an articulation agreement with the newly developed bachelor of applied science degree in information security assurance at the UH West Oʻahu.

This past year Honolulu CC was recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Two Year. This program, which is sponsored by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, recognizes colleges and universities who have met their standard for excellence in cyber security training. Honolulu CC is the only collegiate institution in Hawaiʻi to have achieved this recognition.

— A Honolulu CC news release.

—By Billie Lueder