Competing against 250 other teams across the country, the Nevada Cyber Club earned first place in the National Cyber League competition in April. Completing all challenges with 99.26% accuracy, the club added to their consistent streak of finishing in the top 10.
Two members of the team, Edgar Fyodorov and Bryson Lingenfelter, also placed in the top 10 in the individual portion of the competition, which had over 5,000 participants.
"I've learned a tremendous amount in three seasons [of] competing in NCL and it's a major inspiration for my plans going forward with Cyber Club," Lingenfelter, a senior majoring in computer science and engineering, said. "NCL is how many of us got started with the club and I hope to expand our use of [capture the flag] competitions as learning tools in the future to engage even more people with cybersecurity."
The National Cyber League, or NCL, is a defensive, capture the flag style, puzzle-based cyber security competition. The virtual training ground helps high school and college students prepare and test themselves against cyber security challenges that are common in the workforce. All participants play the games simultaneously during the competition.
The NCL, a non-profit founded in 2011, also integrates learning objectives in its activities, allowing participants to also validate their skills and learn about their strengths and weaknesses in industry-recognized standards.
Sponsored by both the College of Engineering and the College of Business, the club strives to create awareness of cyber-security, educate the average individual through training and allows for members to become connected to the cybersecurity workforce.
Ian Grant, a junior majoring in computer science and engineering, stated that he has "learned so many things from NCL that, without a doubt, I would otherwise have never learned through either classes or [my] own time."
The club is ASUN recognized and was founded in the spring semester of 2016. Everyone with an interest in cybersecurity is welcome to join, and the club's website states that technical skills are not required.
"The Nevada Cyber Club has done a fantastic job of preparing themselves for the NCL competition for the last two years," said Bill Doherty, professor of computer technologies at Truckee Meadows Community College, and club advisor. "They've worked hard to prepare new competitors and improve their scores in each competition. The University community should be proud of the fact that this group has risen to national championship level so quickly."