Montreat College Ties in First International Cyber League Collegiate Cup

By Paul Hawkinson
Dec 23, 2022

December 28, 2022 – In a fierce final competition with 20 teams worldwide, Montreat College tied for first place with Purdue University in Cyberbit’s International Cyber League (ICL) Collegiate Cup. The competition was the first of its kind, taking place remotely in a virtual, cloud-based cyber range as students test their real-world skills. Finalists had 3 hours to match their strength against a live-fire cybersecurity attack in a virtual security operations center. Before getting to the finals, however, each team member had to complete an individual challenge. This first challenge determined the top twenty collegiate teams who would make it to the finals and held hundreds of students worldwide.

Benjamin Kagan, Jovan Slijepcevic, Andrew Elliot, and Jose Tomala made up the final winning team from Montreat and demonstrated not only their skill but their flexibility as each member evolved to fill each needed role. Kagan, the strategist for the team, managed to compete in the ICL and another competition (the Department of Energy’s CyberForce competition) at the same time. Slijepcevic participated as a competitor in the ICL and a mentor to CyberForce students, continuing to contribute excellent technical solutions during the ICL competition. Elliot and Tomala were team players, stepping up to fill in for members who couldn’t participate due to being in other competitions, showing the commitment and flexibility that characterizes the team as a whole.

From left to right: Benjamin Kagan, Jovan Slijepcevic, Jose Tomala, and Andrew Elliot.

“I am very proud of the students. They all worked very hard and were willing to be flexible as needed,” said coach Shalon Simmons, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity at Montreat College.

Montreat competed against notable teams: the National Cybersecurity Champions University of Central Florida (a longtime cybersecurity champion), Embry Riddle, LSU, Coast Guard Academy, and the Saudi Arabian King Fahd School of Petroleum and Minerals, among others. Simmons believes that the team’s consistent use of Cyberbit before competitions may be a significant factor in their success: “The students practiced Cyberbit Labs and LiveFire sessions several times before actually competing.” The success of each student demonstrates their readiness for real-world scenarios, showing that cybersecurity students will rise to the challenge of being both professionals of character and technically skilled.

Thanks to their extensive preparation, commitment, and flexibility, each student on the team received an Apple Mac Book Air as a first-place prize.

For more information, contact:

Joe Jakubielski  828-335-3553


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