Ames — North Central Iowa

Change Agent: Doug Jacobson, protecting data, recruiting students to cybersecurity

AMES, Iowa – Well, Doug Jacobson acknowledged, the Cyber Defense Competitions at Iowa State University aren’t exactly lessons from a software manual.

“They’re a party,” said Jacobson, a University Professor of electrical and computer engineering, the director of Iowa State’s Information Assurance Center and the holder of three degrees from Iowa State. “They’re a two-day party. There’s food. It’s loud. Students are all together. And it’s chaotic.”

It’s also challenging.

The latest version of the campus cybersecurity experience, contested on Oct. 12, asked Iowa State students to protect the computer servers and applications of the “Chris and Doug Construction Co.”

Students worked to protect the company’s information, electronically monitor the company’s cranes and other equipment, take care of the time clock application and run the company’s website.

All the while, attackers tried to bring the systems down.

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