CybersecuritySAIC Launches Inaugural Utah Cyber Defense Challenge and Symposium 2012

Published 25 May 2012

SAIC will lead a Utah statewide cyber competition and symposium designed to raise cyber awareness across government, academia, and industry; the Utah Cyber Defense Challenge and Symposium (UCDC) 2012, to be held 1 June

Utah launches its inaugural cyber defense challenge // Source:

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) announced a statewide cyber competition and symposium designed to raise cyber awareness across government, academia, and industry. The Utah Cyber Defense Challenge and Symposium (UCDC) 2012, to be held 1 June at the Little American Hotel - Salt Lake City, will include a live cyber competition comprised of college and high school students and professional teams, as well as a comprehensive symposium featuring renowned industry experts and thought leaders.

Rob Joyce, deputy director of the Information Assurance directorate at the National Security Agency, will deliver the keynote address and Charles Beard, SAIC senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO), will speak during the ‘Fortune 500 CIO’s Perspective’ session. The symposium will include an academic panel on the cyber workforce, featuring panelists from the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and Utah State University. Additionally, Jeff Edwards, edcUtah president, will lead a panel of local CEOs and industry leaders on key cybersecurity trends and issues.

Governor Gary Herbert recognizes the importance of increased awareness and knowledge of cybersecurity trends, and the impact of cyber issues on Utah business. “Utah continues to grow in national prominence as a bastion for business and careers,” said Herbert. “With that growth is an ever greater need for stronger cyber defense, and Utah has an opportunity to help increase the nation’s supply of an educated cyber workforce. The UCDC enables us to raise awareness on how to defend against cyber criminal activity by establishing an open dialogue between industry experts, academic leaders and members of the Utah business community.”

The UCDC, organized by SAIC, edcUtah, the Utah Technical Council, the National Cybersecurity Alliance, and the Federal Business Council, Inc. (FBC), features a virtual qualification round in May and live finals in Salt Lake City on 1 June. The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) is a challenge sponsor, offering the winning team automatic entry to the prestigious Global CyberLympics competition and a chance to compete against the brightest information security minds in the world.

The competition will be powered by SAIC’s CyberNEXS, a cyber training, certification, and exercise model helping participants build the skills necessary to become successful cybersecurity professionals and protect critical data assets. The qualification rounds test cyber defense skills including hardening systems against vulnerabilities, maintaining critical services, and timely and effective communications. The finals will consist of a six hour defense-oriented battle, where observers will see a live cyber exercise occur with access to a real time score board and subject matter experts will be on hand to describe the competition. 

SAIC is thrilled to launch the inaugural Utah Cyber Defense Challenge and Symposium,” said Beard. “Cyber challenges like this enable valuable public-private collaboration across markets around a vital national security initiative, our future cyber workforce. It is imperative we provide hands-on competitions to keep our professionals sharp, trained, educated and energized to perform in the face of evolving threats.”