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The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

A Q&A with the RWU Cyber Team

Lily Neves
RWU’s Cyber team sitting at computers.

University Cyber Team qualified for the Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense League Regionals, taking place March 23-25, 2024. Prior to their departure for the competition, Information Security Officer and Cybersecurity professor, Allan Ramella, gave some insight as to what the Cyber Team does, and how they compete!

Q: What is the Cyber Team?

A: This year the RWU Cyber team is a group of 11 students (1 Grad, 10 undergrad) that want to be part of something bigger and challenge their Cyber defense skills against peers throughout the Nation. These Cybersecurity competitions provide a way for the Team to practice and improve their skills and capabilities in a simulated and safe environment. RWU’s Cybersecurity Team competes in several local and National competitions throughout the year. These competitions are intense and highly competitive.

Q: What are your competitions like?

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A: Our Flag Ship competition is the Nation Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC). This competition is open to all colleges and universities in the US (D3-D1). It begins in January/February with Regional Qualifier held across nine total regions (Pacific Rim, Western, Rocky Mountain, At Large, Mid- Wes, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast). The Northeast Region the RWU Team is associated with is particularly stacked with competitors such as North Eastern, RIT, Syracuse, and West Point.

Q: Who were the stand out team members who participated in getting the team to regionals?

A: It took a Team effort to advance. In particular are the 8 starters:

  • Camden Hacket (Team Captain and Linux systems lead)
  • Orlando Yeo (Windows systems lead)
  • Ryan Deyo (Linux system specialist)
  • Zachary Rousseau (Windows system specialist)
  • Drew Lemanski (Windows system specialist)
  • Riley King (Linux systems specialist)
  • Jaylene Barone (System Operations Center – SOC specialist)
  • Nicole Black (System Operations Center – SOC specialist
  • Other notable stand-outs include Teams Alternates: Brian Brimner (Linus systems), Eduardo Garciamunoz (SOC analyst), John O’connor (Windows systems),

Q: Are y’all excited for regionals?

A: Yes, we are anxious, nervous and excited all at once. We anticipate this year’s Regional will be extra special because it’s hosted at Pace University (New York City, NY). This will be the Teams first time traveling to an offsite competition and we look forward to the sites of Manhattan and the experiences it will bring! Advancing to Regionals is a 5 years goal in the making. The team is beyond excited to see this goal finally manifest! Make no mistake: advancing requires lots of work, long nights of researching automation scripts and constantly being humbled on improving weaknesses. Seeing this hard work pay-off is awesome – especially the increase in personal “confidence” it brings!

Q: What is the Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense League?

A: The Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense is the Regional Chapter to NCCDC. This year 20 teams in the Northeast competed in Qualifiers: Alfred State, Champlain, Columbia, Johnson & Wales, Northeastern, Pace University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Roger Williams University, St. Johns, Syracuse, University of Albany, University of Buffalo, University of Maine, UMassAmherst, UMassLowell, U of New Hampshire, University of New Haven, University of Rhode Island, WestPoint, and Utica College

Q: Can any major join the Cyber Team?

A: Yes, although the majority of the Team is majoring in Cybersecurity, we do have a Business Major on the Team.

Q: If someone wanted to join the Cyber Team, when and where do they meet?

A: Reach to RWU’s Cyber Intelligence Club (CIC) president Camden Hackett ([email protected])

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About the Contributor
Lily Neves
Lily Neves, News Editor
Lily has been the News Editor for the Hawks Herald since the Fall of 2023. She enjoys keeping the campus updated on the current events around campus. Lily is a Legal Studies and Political Science double major. Outside of the newsroom, Lily enjoys grabbing coffee with friends, working out, and watching sunsets.

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