IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The University of Idaho, Idaho Falls campus took first-place honors Saturday in the 2019 U.S. Department of Energy CyberForce Competition.
Nine teams competed in the regional competition, hosted by the Idaho National Laboratory. The event took place at ten national labs across the country, challenging 105 collegiate teams.
The competition, which aims to inspire and develop the next generation of energy sector cybersecurity professionals, is co-funded by the DOE's Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER); Office of Electricity; Office of Science; Office of the Chief Information Officer; Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy; and the National Nuclear Security Administration.
This year, the teams were challenged to defend one of four realistic system scenarios. Those included an energy company's solar generation facility, electric substation, computer center and manufacturing plant. At the same time, the team had to communicate with other infrastructures to maintain the system as a whole.
"Every year, the CyberForce Competition attracts more and more talented students," said Karen S. Evans, Assistant Secretary for the Department of Energy's Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, "and with the expansion to address professional recruitment, the competition will only continue to grow. We envision this competition to be a tool to assist our sector to close skills gaps and shortage of cybersecurity experts."
In addition to the University of Idaho-Idaho Falls, other student teams participating at INL included Boise State University, Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University-Idaho, Idaho State University, LDS Business College, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the University of Utah, and the University of Wyoming.