Florida Tech’s FITSEC Cybersecurity Team Continues to Dominate Their Competition

team qualified for the 2022 US Cyber Challenge National CyberBowl

The L3Harris Institute for Assured Information FITSEC Team is racking up the wins. Led by Team President Curtice Gough and Team Competition Captain Alex Schmith and including a cadre of veteran student leadership with Kourtnee Fernalld, Blake Janes and Joshua Connolly, along with new faculty member Sneha Sudhakaran, FITSEC has high expectations. (Florida Tech image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The L3Harris Institute for Assured Information FITSEC Team is racking up the wins. Led by Team President Curtice Gough and Team Competition Captain Alex Schmith and including a cadre of veteran student leadership with Kourtnee Fernalld, Blake Janes and Joshua Connolly, along with new faculty member Sneha Sudhakaran, FITSEC has high expectations.

“We are looking forward to a great season and growing the program,” said TJ O’Connor, primary faculty advisor to FITSEC and director of Florida Tech’s cybersecurity program.

Here’s a look at recent team highlights:

US Cyber Challenge National CyberBowl: Team members Dylan Jesse, Stephen Brustowicz, Louis Orcinolo, and Isaiah Thomas qualified for the 2022 US Cyber Challenge National CyberBowl.

To qualify, the Florida Tech students first earned top placings in the CyberQuest individual tournament last spring.

Subsequently, they competed as a team in the Cyber Challenge Eastern Regional in the summer of 2022, where they placed in the top three Eastern Regional Teams, earning a trip to compete against the top three Western Regional Teams for the National CyberBowl.

O’Connor said Jesse’s role was particularly impressive. He’s the Cadet Sergeant Major of Florida Tech’s ROTC program and managed to survive grueling training to earn his Air Assault Wings during the same time period as the cyber competitions.

■ UPDATE: At the National CyberBowl, Thomas, Jessee, Brustowicz, and Orcinolo took 2nd.

The FITSEC team excelled in both the technical presentation and capture-the-flag events.

The US Cyber Challenge competition, funded by the Department of Homeland Security and supported by the White House Chief Information Officer, pitted the nation’s best cybersecurity students against each other.

■ National Cyber League Individual Tournament: Team members Gough, Connolly, Louis Orcinolo, Schmith, and Fernald placed in the top 100 competitors in the National Cyber League Individual Tournament.

Gough led the pack, placing 13th nationally. Overall, FITSEC had 60 students compete in the National Cyber League individual and team tournaments.

The team is also busy building the cybersecurity competition for the upcoming AvengerCon Conference on Dec. 1.

The conference is a private but unclassified event for the U.S. Army’s only Offensive Cyberware Brigade. Additionally, O’Connor has accepted an invitation from the Brigade’s leadership to serve as the keynote speaker for the conference.

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