The brightest student minds in the field of cyberdefense will descend on San Antonio, Texas, later this month for the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC). 

The annual event requires competitors to balance security against business needs while protecting mail and Web servers from cyberattacks and threats. Starting April 20 at the St. Anthony Hotel, the three-day “national championship” features teams from 10 U.S. universities and is hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

Sponsored by Deloitte, an audit, financial advisory, tax and consulting company, the competition consists of several qualifying and regional events from which the winning teams were selected to take part in the championship. Those teams are:

• University of Alaska, Fairbanks

• United States Air Force Academy

• University of North Carolina, Charlotte

• Rochester Institute of Technology

• Texas A&M University

• Towson University

• St. Cloud State University

• University of Wyoming

• California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

• University of Washington

“Our nation continues to seek out and employee the best and brightest to combat cyber crimes,” said Harry Raduege, chairman of Deloitte’s Center for Cyber Innovation in a statement. “Competitions such as the NCCDC help refine the skills necessary to man our new front lines.

Gregory White, director of UTSA’s Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, added that students participating in the competition are at the forefront of the war on terror.

“Our competition provides the necessary foundation for students to implement what they’ve learned to serve a higher calling as key defenders against cyberterrorism and maintain the security of our networks,” White said in a statement.

In 2011, the University of Washington took first place in the competition, while Texas A&M and the University of Louisville took second and third place, respectively.