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March 13, 2013
(Albuquerque, NM) Information Assurance (IA) students at the Anderson School of Management were strong competitors at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC) held at Regis University in Denver.
The two day competition focused on the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing "commercial" network infrastructure. This year the teams were challenged by a scenario where they were recovering from a natural disaster and the members had to maintain servers critical to the daily operations of the business.
The competition provides a unique opportunity for students and industry professionals to interact and discuss many of the security and operational challenges the students will soon face as they enter the job market. UNM students felt this competition prepared them for the next step in their careers.
"I've been to several Information Technology-type competitions and they were all a positive experience," said UNM student and team co-captain Hector Mejia. "But this competition is by far the most realistic in terms of the possible types of attacks an IT security specialist would face in the 'real world'."
Co-captain Catherine Zittlosen said UNM's preparation was a key to the team's success.
"The preparation involved really brought us together as a team and allowed us to organize and have a plan. We were able to learn new things that we may not have learned otherwise. We each focused on specific areas which made us better in certain things. This allowed us to coordinate as a group and learn more specific things from each other."
"I'm very pleased with the effort of the students and the outcome," said coach and mentor Alessandro "Alex" Seazzu, Information Assurance Professor at UNM Anderson. "It clearly shows that they prepared themselves well and diligently find-tuned their cyber security skills."
UNM competed as an exhibition team because it was largely composed of Master of Business Administration students. Competition teams are only allowed a maximum of two graduate students and six undergraduates. Despite being recognized for their superior performance at the competition, the UNM team will not advance to compete at the national level. Seazzu says the team was aware of that possibility even with an impressive showing.
"That's quite alright though as we encourage our students to see what awaits them in the real world as they are required to protect simulated companies and infrastructures, so the experience is invaluable," said Seazzu. "A few years back the team that won Nationals was hired on the spot by Boeing so it's also a great opportunity to show potential employers what you can do."
The IA program at the Anderson School of Management was started in 2007 when UNM first became a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance. Information Assurance includes many areas of management beyond computer security including auditing, forensic accounting, organizational design, and policy and planning.
There is a strong local and national demand for IA skills in public and private sector Management of Information Systems departments and in the audit staffs of public accounting firms and private organizations. Sandia National Laboratories has many positions that require IA skills.
Programs at UNM Anderson School are designed to meet the need for top-quality management education among public, private and not-for-profit businesses. For more information on the IA program go to: http://ia.unm.edu.
The Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico is dedicated to excellence in professional management education. At the Anderson School, faculty, staff, and students are committed to shaping the intellect and character of the next generation of business leaders, advancing the knowledge and practice of management, promoting economic development, and building a vibrant intellectual community that serves the highest and best interests of all our stakeholders.
The School was founded in 1947 and now offers more than a dozen concentrations at the BBA and MBA levels and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in the top 20% of business schools in the nation. The School is funded by the State of New Mexico and further support is generated by The Anderson School of Management Foundation. For more information, the public can visit www.mgt.unm.edu, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (505) 277-6471.
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