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home : education : education April 24, 2015

4/28/2014 10:06:00 AM
Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition
Florence Career Center earned the prestigious Championship among South Carolina High Schools in this annual competition

University of South Carolina and College of Charleston took 2nd and 3rd place among the SC colleges and Summerville and Wando High Schools rounded out the high school performers. Winning team members each received a $500 Scholarship as well as PCDC Gold Medals. The teams were awarded trophies as well as a $1000 Technology grant from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Association (AFCEA). 

During the competition, students from each school formed Blue Teams of up to six competitors that were responsible for operating a small business network. Each of the teams were provided with a mal-configured business network at the start of the competition and were challenged to properly reconfigure the network, add new services, and respond to additional requirements; all the while defending against a Red Team of SPAWAR volunteers attempting to disrupt and penetrate their network. Blue Teams were scored for accomplishing administrative and business tasks while maintaining network/service availability, such as mail, database and web servers, as well as their ability to detect and respond to cyber threats. Teams were challenged to respond to business requests such as the addition or removal of services, and balance security needs against business needs. 

The Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic and the South Carolina Lowcountry Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) ( jointly organize the Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition (PCDC). The 

goal of the PCDC is to energize South Carolina Colleges and High Schools and their students to focus on the development of technical skills in the areas of networking and cyber security in preparation for exciting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The 2014 competition was conducted April 12-13, in the College Center at the Complex for Economic Development at Trident Technical College in North Charleston. 

For next year’s high school competition, the top three high schools from the PDC 2014 competition will be invited back for the PCDC 2015 event. Five other qualifiers from a cross-section of South Carolina will be selected from among the top CyberPatriot VII teams in the state. The Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot is a national youth cyber defense competition. To learn more about the program and register for CyberPatriot VII please visit

The PCDC 2014 competitors from South Carolina Colleges and Universities were: 

Charleston Southern University , Clemson University, College of Charleston, ECPI University 

South Carolina State University, The Citadel, Trident Technical College, University of South Carolina 

The PCDC 2014 South Carolina high school competitors were: 

First Baptist School, Charleston, Florence Career Center, Florence, Lowcountry Tech Academy, Charleston R.B Stall High School, North Charleston , South Aiken High School, Aiken, Stratford High School, Goose Creek, Summerville High School, Summerville, Wando High School, Mount Pleasant. 

Richard Clarke, an internationally-recognized homeland security, national security, cyber security and counterterrorism expert and New York Times best-selling author spoke to the competitors about the need for the skills they have developed. Celeste M. Matarazzo, a data science expert with the Lawrence Livermore National Labs Computation Directorate also addressed the teams, emphasizing the need for a new paradigm to address the evolving threats to networks. 

The competition, awards, scholarships and technology grants were made possible through the generous support of many industry and institutional sponsors and volunteers, to include Dell, CACI, Trident Technical College, CISCO Sourcefire, Secure Mission Solutions, AFCEA International, Lockheed Martin, Pro2Serve, the Advanced Cyberforensics Education Consortium, the Rural Technology Fund, ISHPI, Scitor Corporation, Southern Educational Systems, SRA, SRC, IMS, Vistronix, ITT Technical Institute, Sentar, the Air Force Association, the Law Office of Leanne M. Innet, as well as competition organizers SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic and the AFCEA South Carolina Lowcountry Chapter. 

For the 2015 PCDC, companies that wish to support this exciting and important training opportunity for our future cyber security workforce here in South Carolina can assist through volunteer as well as sponsorship opportunities. If you wish to support next year’s PCDC event, please contact for more information or visit the AFCEA Chapter website at: You can follow the competition on Facebook at or stay informed on the competition on Twitter

For more information locally, contact Dale Cook at the Florence Career Center at 664-8465. 

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