A New Standard of Excellence
NCGC's inaugural year will feature the most elite and high-performing collegiate cybersecurity teams from across the nation. Ten teams will be selected to go head-to head in a high-stakes battle for the Gauntlet.
Competitors have unprecedented creative freedom to showcase their skills. At NCGC, realistic approaches reflective of industry trends and best practices are both encouraged and rewarded.
Cybersecurity research impacts national security and workforce development. That's why NCGC has been built from the ground up to provide analysts with rich data about team collaboration and modern cybersecurity practices, tools, and techniques.
Real cybersecurity competency is built on diverse experiences in a wide range of specializations. To encompass all of those areas, NCGC's unique design challenges teams based on their ability to implement, attack, and defend computer networks.
PREPARE TO BATTLE
Teams are first scored on their ability to construct a secure network environment matching a provided set of general criteria. Their finished environments are submitted for scoring along with a detailed writeup of their unique design.
For a limited time, each team is randomly assigned to another team's environment. To succeed in this round, competitors must use their offensive security skills to penetrate the environment, disable security protections, and establish a foothold. The newly-exploited environment, along with a report, are then submitted for scoring.
Once again, environments are assigned to random teams. Competitors must race against the clock to hunt for threats and other indicators of compromise left by the previous round.
In the final round, teams receive the network environment that they must maintain for the remainder of the competition. After a staged deactivation of the competition firewall, the network transforms in to a free-for-all battle royale: In real time, teams must defend their systems, exploit those of other teams, and complete special challenges.