The mission of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) system is to provide institutions with an information assurance or computer security curriculum a controlled, competitive environment to assess their student's depth of understanding and operational competency in managing the challenges inherent in protecting a corporate network infrastructure and business information systems.
CCDC Events are designed to:
- Build a meaningful mechanism by which institutions of higher education may evaluate their programs
- Provide an educational venue in which students are able to apply the theory and practical skills they have learned in their course work
- Foster a spirit of teamwork, ethical behavior, and effective communication both within and across teams
- Create interest and awareness among participating institutions and students
CCDC competitions ask student teams to assume administrative and protective duties for an existing “commercial” network – typically a small company with 50+ users, 7 to 10 servers, and common Internet services such as a web server, mail server, and e-commerce site. Each team begins the competition with an identical set of hardware and software and is scored on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain availability of existing services such as mail servers and web servers, respond to business requests such as the addition or removal of additional services, and balance security needs against business needs. Throughout the competition an automated scoring engine is used to verify the functionality and availability of each team’s services on a periodic basis and traffic generators continuously feed simulated user traffic into the competition network. A volunteer red team provides the “external threat” all Internet-based services face and allows the teams to match their defensive skills against live opponents.