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DSU students and alumni compete in international cybersecurity competition

DSU competitors
Dakota State University
Clockwise from top, DSU senior Austen King, and graduates Logan Stratton and Joshua Klosterman.

The United States placed third in a recent international cybersecurity competition, with three of the team’s members coming from Dakota State University in Madison.

The inaugural event, called the International Cybersecurity Challenge, took place in Greece and featured seven teams from six continents and over 60 countries. The competition featured a day of team-based challenges and a day of head-to-head attacking and defending.

DSU senior Austen King and graduates Joshua Klosterman and Logan Stratton were part of the United States’ 15-person team.

Klosterman said he was pleased with the team’s performance.

“I'm really proud of the way the team came together,” Klosterman said. “Really proud to see everyone work together and take on that common challenge.”

Stratton said a bit more preparation might have helped the team place even higher.

“As a team, I think we did really good on the stuff we were ready for, and then there's always going to be stuff you're not prepared for or something you don't see coming,” Stratton said. “We could’ve used a little bit more practice in certain fields.”

The competition focused on different fields of cybersecurity, and each member of the U.S. team had different specialties.

Klosterman’s areas of expertise in the competition were forensics and web exploitation. He currently works as a security researcher for a nonprofit, and he said the knowledge and experience gained from the competition will help in his profession.

“Not only is it fun, and you get a chance to challenge yourself and work with others, but you also get to use those skills in the real world to help people and make the world a better place,” Klosterman said.

King, who was a reserve player, said the group training and other smaller competitions leading up to the international event were also useful.

“When you're doing challenges yourself, it's hard to learn from them because the whole point of challenges is to do things to get out of your comfort zone and stuff which isn't always the most easy thing to do by yourself,” King said. “When you have other people sharing knowledge and trading information, it's a lot more beneficial.”

The International Cybersecurity Challenge was the last event of the season for the U.S. Cyber Team. Age limits for the next season are currently undecided, but the competitors from DSU have expressed interest in staying involved with the group if possible.

Andrew Kronaizl is a senior at Augustana University. He is from Vermillion, SD, and is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.