University of Central Florida wins 2021 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship

Students protected fictional renewable energy company against cyber-attacks

ARLINGTON, Va, (April 26, 2021) — University of Central Florida prevailed over nine other schools to win the 2021 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and the coveted Alamo Cup. The national championship, sponsored by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business (NYSE: RTX), was held virtually from April 23-25.

Hosted by The University of Texas San Antonio’s Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, participants were tasked with defending the IT networks of a fictional renewable energy company that sells and installs wind and solar power generation systems.

“Cybersecurity is not only about protecting networks, it’s about protecting our way of life,” said John DeSimone, vice president of Cybersecurity, Training & Services at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “Congratulations to University of Central Florida and all of the NCCDC teams who competed. I encourage each of them to continue their pursuit of cybersecurity excellence.”

More than 168 colleges and universities competed this year, the NCCDC’s 16th season. Teams had to manage their company’s “home office” and multiple cloud and remote systems while also protecting intellectual property, customer data and employee records. To mirror real-world threats, NCCDC used white hat hackers intent on disrupting competitor systems, forcing teams to work together to develop solutions.

“The past year has been a challenge for everyone – business as usual looks very different than it did 14 months ago,” said Dwayne Williams, director of the National CCDC and associate director at the CIAS. “The CCDC has always tried to model the environment and challenges small businesses face. With support from Raytheon Intelligence & Space, we were able to do that. Participating in competitions like CCDC is a great way for students to develop their technical abilities, teamwork and leadership skills, because it really does simulate what it’s like to work for a small business.”

Rounding out the top three finalists are DePaul University, who came in second place, and George Mason University, who placed third. The top 10 finalist schools that competed in NCCDC and won their respective regional competitions are:

  • At-Large: University of Central Florida
  • Mid-Atlantic: University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Mid-West: DePaul University
  • Northeast: Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Pacific Rim: University of Washington Seattle
  • Rocky Mountain: Brigham Young University
  • Southeast: College of Charleston
  • Southwest: University of Texas at Austin
  • Western: University California Irvine
  • Wildcard: George Mason University

About the National CCDC

Hosted by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) system provides institutions with an information assurance or computer security curriculum a controlled, competitive environment to assess their student’s depth of understanding and operational competency in managing the challenges inherent in protecting a corporate network infrastructure and business information systems. For more information, visit

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About Raytheon Intelligence & Space

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, delivers the disruptive technologies our customers need to succeed in any domain, against any challenge. A developer of advanced sensors, cyber services and software solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides a decisive advantage to civil, military and commercial customers around the world.