Information Security and Intelligence Students Take 2nd Place at CCDC

Information Security and Intelligence Students competed state-wide.

The Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition is a two-day event with competition, networking, and collaboration of students and industry professionals.


A team of students from the Ferris State Information Security and Intelligence program recently competed in the Cyber Collegiate Defense Competition (CCDC) and were honored with a 2nd place state-wide ranking.

ISI professor Gerald Emerick and Adjunct Professor Vel Pavlov advised the team. Both faculty members led the students in active security offense and defense. The team included Captain Eric Hendershott, Adam Logue, Aron Dignum, Benjamin Thompson, Joseph Schlehuber, Nick Galloway, Robert Garcia, and Ryan Griffin.

The competition required students to take on a defense role, labeled as the blue team. The students worked against attackers, labeled as the red team, represented by ethical hackers from Trustwave’s Spiderlabs.

Each team was required to install, configure, secure, and maintain production services such as email, an e-commerce website, and file transfer services, while also protecting the network and systems from any cyber-attacks by the red team. The students had limited time to gain knowledge about the network, security and production systems before the attack simulation began.

The competition scenarios represent the technical and business impact of cyber-attacks, which allows students to gain valuable experience focusing their actions and prioritizing their efforts within a controlled, critiqued environment.

Competitions like these are an opportunity for students to gain practical hands-on experience for the professional world. CCDC is a two-day event that specifically focuses on the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing production network infrastructure. Beyond the competition, students also have the chance to collaborate with industry professionals and network with employers.