National Cyber League Registration Opens

Registration for the fall season of the National Cyber League (NCL) opened yesterday.

The league provides an exciting virtual environment in which students of all levels can apply their cybersecurity skills to real-world scenarios encountered by professionals in the cybersecurity industry. 

Participants will be tasked with taking both offensive and defensive action to neutralize threats, break into websites, crack passwords and expose the identities of hackers.

This season’s mock challenges include catching an insider threat as they use a company’s new remote working policy to secretly exfiltrate company data while working from home. 

Another scenario involves preventing a malicious actor from exploiting a vulnerability in a database to gain access to a computer. 

A spokesperson for the NCL said: “The puzzle-oriented, capture the flag style, offensive and defensive challenges are rooted in the CompTIA Security+ and EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker performance-based exam objectives.”

While fun is a major component of the NCL challenges, students who complete them will walk away with more than just great memories.

“Players also receive Scouting Reports they can share with potential employers to highlight their success within each challenge objective,” said the spokesperson.

“Players do not just build skills relevant to a lucrative career; they become part of a like-minded community of cyber-heroes and heroines who join forces to better their skills.”

Kaitlyn Bestenheider first competed in the NCL in 2015. Now the information security analyst at Tevora is the league’s chief player ambassador, responsible for creating and managing the first and only coaching guide recognized and approved by the NCL. 

“I am just one of many success stories to come out of the NCL games,” said Bestenheider. 

“Now, my team and I are listening to players and advocating for them; representing the views, perspectives and values of the players; and campaigning for new programs and partnerships. Our NCL Player Ambassador Board has many exciting things planned, and we can't wait to share all of this with our players.”

The NCL is a nonprofit cybersecurity competition that was founded in 2011 by an alliance of public agencies dedicated to developing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Around 10,000 students compete in the league every year.

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