Tom and all at Cyber SC: on behalf of AFCEA and NIWC Atlantic, I would like to thank you and Cyber SC very much for your SILVER Level Sponsorship for the Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition (PCDC) 2021.
We are extremely grateful that you and Cyber SC stayed the course with PCDC through 2020 and remained committed as a SILVER Sponsor for PCDC 2021. The confidence you showed in the PCDC Enterprise was a critical enabler for us to plan and virtualize an entirely new approach for PCDC 2021.
Attached is the PCDC 2021 Brochure FYI which summarizes the players, activities, and supporters for this 3- day competition conducted 17 – 19 April 2021.
PCDC 2021 was our first such event for which we operated out of necessity in a completely remote, virtualized environment, due to COVID. We used donated Amazon Web Services for cloud infrastructure; MS Teams for multimode communications and collaboration among all participants; and the NIWC Atlantic simulated network for RED Team attack and competing teams cyber defense. This PCDC event was the most demanding ever in exposing students to the challenges - and career opportunities - in securing vital information and critical information networks against intense cyber threats presented by the NIWC RED Team ethical hackers. About 135 students competed this year. Since 2013, about 1500 high school and college students have participated in our 8 annual PCDC events.
- Ten teams and 60 High School students competed on PCDC High School Day Saturday 17 April. The Top Three High Schools were (1) Palmetto Scholars Academy, (2) Academic Magnet, and (3) Porter Gaud.
- Also on Saturday, and as part of PCDC 2021, we conducted the Southeast Regional Collegiate Hack Warz event, a capture-the-flag/hacking competition with 11 college student teams and 33 students competing against time to penetrate a virtual information system and capture digital tokens concealed in large, complicated data files. Capturing the tokens requires a variety of cyber skills and pose increasing challenges to score. The Top Three Colleges for Hack Warz were (1) Horry Georgetown Technical College, (2) The Citadel, and (3) the US Naval Academy. This was an event presented by Life Cycle Engineering (LCE).
- Nine teams and 53 college students competed on PCDC College Day Sunday 18 April. The Top Three Colleges were (1) Clemson University, (2) College of Charleston, and (3) Horry Georgetown Technical College.
- Four corporate and one DoD team with 30 professionals competed on PCDC PRO Day Monday 19 April. The ECS Team was the winner in this hotly contested event.
We will not wait long before starting to plan PCDC 2022, the 9th PCDC event which continues the government – industry partnership between NIWC Atlantic and AFCEA.
We hope that as Cyber SC plans for charitable giving in CY2022, you will be sure to include continued Sponsorship for PCDC 2022in your overhead/budget.
PCDC is expanding and succeeding year over year in its mission to increase awareness, interest, and opportunities for Lowcountry and regional youth in cyber and cyber security careers. We believe also that PCDC is contributing to a buildup in the cyber capable workforce of the future in South Carolina.
Cyber SC’s continued interest in and support for PCDC is simply indispensable to our success, to the national defense, and to prosperity of South Carolina and our region which so critically depend on cyber capabilities and capacity in our workforce.
Thank you for your support this year. Have a great summer!
And…..I will be back at you this Fall to seek your continued support and sponsorship for PCDC 2022!
Best regards, Greg
Gregory R. Blackburn, PMP
CAPT USN (Ret)
AFCEA PCDC 2021 Coordinator