February 18, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College Cyber Defense Competition team will participate in a Midwest regional meet all-day Saturday on the SIU-C campus.

This year marks the second year of competition for the Logan Defenders.

“These students work extremely hard in preparation for their competitions,” said the team’s coach, Mark Rogers. “In fact, they work as hard as any of our sports teams.”

The team consists of 12 students that specialize in various aspects of computer network security, who are all pursuing degrees in one of the Information Technology programs at Logan.

The Defenders will compete Saturday against teams representing both community colleges and four-year universities throughout the Midwest.

It is each team’s responsibility at the competition to complete everyday business tasks called “injects,” while simultaneously defending the network against incoming attacks. The attacks are launched from another team and can completely cripple the network. The team leaders play the biggest role, organizing the incoming injects and managing the team assignments so each inject is completed on time.

This year’s Logan squad is anchored by sophomore team leader, Quinten Bowen, and sophomore captain, Karendeep Bedi. Other sophomore team members include: Curtis McRoy, Trenton Taylor and Jessa Gramenz.

Freshman members include: Sydney Cole, David McClurg, Mike Mulford, Zach Scanlon, Cameron Davis, Dijon Williams, and James Smith.

“We are excited with the talent we have, both returning to the team and new to the team,” said assistant coach Kylee Williams. “Just as with any competitive event, each member plays a crucial role, defending a virtual network against an expert team of hackers. Various members focus on Linux and Windows servers, as well as industry standard firewalls such as Palo Alto and Cisco.

“These students learn real-world skills that can be applied to their careers as they prepare to enter the workforce as computer network and information security specialists, which are some of the fastest-growing career areas in the technical field,” Williams said.

Gramenz, who is studying computer forensics, said she believes the team instructors provide students with a top-level education at Logan that includes both curricular and extra-curricular opportunities.