FITSEC Cybersecurity Team Medals at National Event

Florida Tech’s FITSEC cybersecurity team placed second out of 3,658 teams at the National Cyber League Spring 2022 tournament.

Team leader Blake Janes guided his colleagues to a second-place finish, the third straight season he’s led a team to a medal position. The team included seniors Carl Mann, Isaiah Thomas, Tiffanie Petersen and Ivan Hernandez, who all graduated with computer science (with cyber operations concentration) degrees on May 7. The team also included Logan Suarez, who will graduate in summer with his master’s degree, and Nick Falco, who returns next season. 

Two other FITSEC teams placed 19th and 26th in the competition. Advisor TJ O’Connor, who leads the cybersecurity concentration at Florida Tech, noted that in particular, Alex Schmith and Kourtnee Fernalld had solid showings and offered “great promise” for upcoming seasons. 

In the NCL Games, students work to solve challenges such as identifying hackers from forensic data, penetration testing and auditing vulnerable websites, recovering from ransomware attacks, and more.

“The team is incredibly humbled by the support they get from all levels of Florida Tech and the opportunity to represent what our university, college and computer science program stand for,” O’Connor said. “Thank you for all your support in making this an opportunity for our students.” 

The strong showing comes after eight FITSEC team members recently qualified for the US Cyber Challenge Cyber Camp, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security. Janes, Thomas, Falco and Schmith will be joined by Dylan Jessee, Louie Orcinolo, Stephen Brustowicz and Curtice Gough at the Eastern regional camp. They will compete to earn a shot at the national finals. Last season, four students from FITSEC had made the national finals and got the opportunity to brief a deputy White House official as part of the competition.

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