Students from Lawrence Technological University took first, second and tied for third place at the ISACA Cybersecurity Scholarship Case Competition, held over the weekend at the University of Detroit Mercy.
Teams of one or more students from Lawrence Tech, Detroit Mercy, Eastern Michigan University and Baker College competed in the event. It was organized and presented by the Detroit Chapter of ISACA, an international professional association focused on IT governance previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. A total of 25 students participated. The lead organizer was Sajay Rai, president and CEO of the Bloomfield Hills cybersecurity firm Securely Yours LLC.
The teams competed for a solution to a breach in which an organization’s sensitive information was hacked and placed on the Dark Web, the part of the internet that uses anonymity tools to hide its users’ locations and identities. Participants were expected to assess the organization’s handling of social media, identify the technical aspects of the case, discuss the countermeasures that are necessary in every organization, and discuss how the breach could have been prevented. Each team’s efforts were scored on a standardized rubric by panels of industry experts.
Two teams from Lawrence Tech tied for first place, both winning $4,000. One team was comprised of Rose He, an MBA student in LTU’s College of Management, and Gordon Stein, a student in the Master of Computer Science program in LTU’s College of Arts and Sciences. The other team was one person, Michael Talamonti, a student in the LTU Master of Science in Information Technology program, part of the College of Management.
Taking second place and a $2,500 prize was Suvro Sudip, an undergraduate student in computer engineering in LTU’s College of Engineering.
Tying for third place and winning prizes of $1,500 were Afiya Khan, also a student in the LTU Master of Science in Information Technology program, and a team from Eastern Michigan University.
Thus, Lawrence Tech students won $12,000 of the total of $13,500 available at the ISACA event.
Anne Kohnke, assistant professor of IT at Lawrence Tech, is the ISACA academic advocate for LTU. She mentors and supports students interested in IT and cybersecurity. To help prepare students interested in the case competition, she organized a session on March 4 to help the LTU teams, featuring a presentation from Talamonti, who also won first place at the event on 2015.
“I am fortunate to be able to mentor and coach many wonderful students and hopefully inspire them to be curious and develop an attitude of life-long learning,” Kohnke said.
Kohnke, a 25-year IT industry veteran, began teaching at LTU as adjunct faculty in 2002 and joined the university full-time in 2011. She has co-authored two books on cybersecurity.
Below are the winners --left to right, Gordon Stein, Rose He, Afiya Khan, Michael Talamonti, and Suvro Sudip, all of LTU, and Joeun Lee, Haemin Lee and Junho Lee, all of EMU. Photo: Anne Kohnke.