MetroStar partnered with The Mill to host a Cybersecurity Sprint Week Challenge from Oct. 10 to 15. Sprint Week is an annual event aimed at technology professionals and college students interested in cybersecurity, policy, business, tech, information technology (IT), and process improvement.
“The MetroStar team and The Mill organized such an amazing event,” said Jay Amlani, a participant and graduate student studying Computer Science at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB), “I was able to learn a lot and made some great friends.”
At the beginning of the week, MetroStar posed a cybersecurity-based challenge to participants, who were both students and technology professionals. Teams spent the next five days working together to find innovative solutions to the proposed challenge. A group of MetroStar’s cybersecurity experts hosted office hours during the week for participants to receive feedback on their proposals.
Additionally, Anne McCombe, MetroStar’s Business Relationship Manager, was present to facilitate key questions from participants. McCombe serves as the primary MetroStar ambassador in Indiana by fostering community relationships and growing MetroStar’s culture and company in partnership with organizations like The Mill.
At the end of the week, participants presented demos of their proposals and solutions to a panel of judges. The judging panel consisted of Ryan Abbott (VP of Defense & Intel at MetroStar), Keith Turpin (Chief Technology Officer at Technology Service Organization, U.S. Marine Corps), and Rob Templeman (Sr. Scientific Technical Manager at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division).
The winning team took home $1,000 in cash and each winning team member received a full-time, six-month membership to The Mill.
Jay Amlani and Vernon Stevenson
Xinyi Liu, Yating Zhao, Farheen Samad, and Chiung Yi Tsai
Peter Ackerman, Sai Prasad, Abraham Kim, and Hannah Jiao
The teams received the following challenge:
“Getting It Done (GID), Inc. (a fictitious company) is a small-to-medium size enterprise providing services to the U.S. Government and commercial organizations. Their regional office has plans to open in Fort Worth, Texas. They are looking to build a cyber program that will have servers running with minimal security protection and monitoring; however, the company currently lacks a strong security culture and has no policies relating to information security, acceptable use, etc. The company has also not recently considered ISO27001, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), or NIST requirements.”
Each team was tasked to analyze the above scenario, identify aspects of research needed, and then create and deliver a proposal presentation discussing cyber solutions. The groups were expected to determine:
How to secure the company’s assets
What tools they would need to do so
The cost breakdown
During the in-person demos, participants presented their teams' plans to the judges (mentioned above) to showcase how they would successfully help the fictitious company develop its security culture.
We're excited to be tuned into @dimension_mill's Sprint Week!— MetroStar (@MetroStarSystem) October 15, 2021
MetroStar partnered with The Mill to pose a challenge to participants at the beginning of the week. Teams have spent five days hammering out solutions, and tonight they are unveiling their visions. 💡💡💡 https://t.co/Jy5kKbYgia pic.twitter.com/w89GnkkYl6
Sprint Week scenario from @MetroStarSystem: You are a small-to-medium enterprise that seeks to open a regional office. You need to build a cyber program: Servers have minimal protection, not a lot of corporate security culture, and leaders don't really understand security. GO!— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
The Sprint Week judges are seriously impressive!— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
Keith Turpin, CTO fo Technology Service Organization, US Marine Corps
Rob Templeman, Sr Scientific Technical Manager at @NAVSEACrane
Ryan Abbot, VP of Defense & Intel at @MetroStarSystem
Team SecureStar is up first! They're presenting the risks the company is taking & how they're vulnerable. It's a long, scary list... of behaviors common to lots of companies.— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
....Aaaand now we suddenly want to back everything up and change all our passwords! @MetroStarSystem
Team SecureStar has a 30-60 day detailed implementation plan for the #SprintWeek challenge. Are we cybersecurity experts at The Mill? No. Do we understand those details? Again, no. Are we impressed with this team and with @MetroStarSystem? Heck yeah!— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
Team SecureStar also has a plan B for long-term #cybersecurity safety. Judges are now asking questions about staffing. SecureStar has answers! #impressed @MetroStarSystem #sprintweek— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
Next up, Team FISH! Their insight: employees think cybersecurity training is boring & don't think a phishing attack will happen to them.— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
They've got a cool plan for employees to try to phish each other--making it fun to learn & fun to trick colleagues. Heh heh@MetroStarSystem
Team FISH's "Make a Fish" competition has a flaw, they admit. What if it's too fun?!#ThingsNoOneEverSaysAboutCybersecurityTraining— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
Team Cloud is up next! And they're presenting from the Event Hall at The Mill. Their slides have some kewl retro tech fonts & they're using a neat storytelling technique. Love seeing the creativity and different approaches the teams are taking.#SprintWeek @MetroStarSystem— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
Team Cloud is working on not just fixing the cybersecurity problem, but modernizing the company's workflow. #businesssavvy #SprintWeek @MetroStarSystem— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
Team Cloud just described the #sprintWeek challenge as a dumpster fire situation, LOL. #SprintWeek @MetroStarSystem— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
#sprintWeek deliberations have begun!! tick tock, tick tock....— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
During the demo, Team Cloud showcased they considered all aspects of the scenario, problem, and task. They considered the documentation and modernization needs of the company and built a comprehensive project plan. SecureStar understood the compliance aspects of cybersecurity and how non-compliance would harm the business and its customers. Lastly, Team FISH emphasized the crucial human element of cybersecurity. Team FISH focused on phishing attempts and developed a unique approach to training staff and developing a security-first culture.
After a brief deliberation from the judges, Team Cloud placed first, SecureStar placed second, and Team FISH placed third. MetroStar extends congratulations to each of the participants for their hard work and innovative ideas.
And the winner is Team Cloud! They'll get $1,000 in cash and 6-month full-time memberships!!! #sprintWeek is a wrap... Thank you, @MetroStarSystem, for how much time, energy, & passion you poured into your sponsorship!— The Mill (@dimension_mill) October 15, 2021
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