Indiana Students and Professionals Tackle Cybersecurity Challenge


A screenshot from The Mill's Sprint Week Cyber Challenge.

Sprint Week Background

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.

The Teams

  • SecureStar

    • Jay Amlani and Vernon Stevenson

  • Team FISH

    • Xinyi Liu, Yating Zhao, Farheen Samad, and Chiung Yi Tsai​

  • Team Cloud

    • Peter Ackerman, Sai Prasad, Abraham Kim, and Hannah Jiao

The Challenge

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. 

The Demo as Tweeted by The Mill


Drum Roll: The Cybersecurity Sprint Week Awards

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. 

Learn more about The Mill and check out our latest cyber-related roles at MetroStar

by visiting our job board.

let's chat