Coastal Georgia Cyber Defense Students Shine in National Cyber League

May 8, 2024
By: CCGA Web

In an impressive display of skill and determination, 28 of the 40 students from the College of Coastal Georgia’s Cyber Defense Program have ranked in the top 25% of the National Cyber League (NCL) this season. The NCL, is a bi-annual cybersecurity competition. The Individual Competition was held April 5-7, and challenged students to tackle real-life cybersecurity scenarios ranging from open source intelligence to web application exploitation.

These achievements highlight the student-centered approach taught at the College of Coastal Georgia. Dr. Nelbert St. Clair, associate professor of cyber defense, expressed his pride in the students’ performance.

“Our students have demonstrated exceptional abilities in applying theoretical knowledge to practical challenges in cybersecurity,” St. Clair said.

The NCL provides a simulated platform where students can test their cybersecurity skills against peers nationwide. This spring, over 7,000 participants from various colleges and universities competed in the rigorous challenges designed to mimic scenarios that cybersecurity professionals face daily.

Among the standout performers from Coastal Georgia was Wes Baird, who recently graduated this May, and placed in the top 1%. Baird’s performance not only marks a personal best, but also sets a new record for the College.

“The NCL was a fantastic opportunity for me to apply what I’ve learned in class in a competitive environment through CTFs (capture the flag). I have spent many hours practicing, studying, and helping others in the Cyber Sail club to build a knowledge base and improve my own skills,” Baird said.

 He finished in 72nd place out of 7,399 and completed 92.4% of all of the challenges.

The College’s Cyber Defense Program has been critical in providing students with the necessary tools and knowledge to succeed. With courses designed around the latest security practices and technologies, students are well-prepared to enter the fast-evolving field of cybersecurity.

As cyber threats continue to grow in complexity and number, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals has never been higher. The success of Coastal Georgia’s students in the National Cyber League is a promising sign of the next generation of cybersecurity experts ready to take on global challenges.