The event, which was held at Carleton University, came to a close on Saturday afternoon with the top-ranked students getting a chance to compete for coveted paid internships at some of the region’s top cybersecurity firms.
The University of Ottawa placed second and Carleton placed third in the final standings.
“Computer Security is an incredibly important subject. Some say it is a white-hot speciality in a red-hot field,” said Algonquin Professor Rob Brandon, who was acting as the AC team's advisor. “Events like this raise awareness of important issues, and raise awareness on basic ways to protect yourself.”
Brandon said the event “also highlights that there is a skills shortage in this area, which is something we will have to focus on.”
The four members of the winning team, representing Algonquin College, are enrolled in the Bachelor of Information Technology – Network Technology (BIT-NET) program, a joint collaboration between Algonquin College and Carleton University.
The winning team was made up of third-year student Georges Ankenmann and Jason Reifstenzel and fourth-year students Joseph Mitchell and John Morrison.
Kyvan Emamitabarizi, Scott Ewing, Jordan McKenzie and Alexander Smalley made up the second team from Algonquin College.
During the challenge, the students investigated a staged “vulnerable computer network” of a fictitious company. Then, they had to determine how to break through the network's cyber defences, take control of the systems, and advise on how to defend against future cyber attacks
“Congratulations, excellent job!” Mayor Jim Watson told the winning team, which was presented with the Ottawa Mayor’s Cyber Challenge Cup.
“I am very pleased to support this innovative and exciting event,” said Watson in a press release. “The Mayor’s Cyber Challenge Cup will help raise cybersecurity awareness within the community and help equip individuals and families with the necessary tools to safeguard themselves against computer fraud, cyber-bullying, identity theft and child exploitation.”