Content, Content, Vertical markets

National Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition: The Details

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) this weekend will host the National Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC), an offensive-based collegiate cybersecurity competition. Student competitors from the following schools will participate in the event:

  • Baldwin Wallace University.
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
  • California State University, Fullerton.
  • Dakota State University.
  • Drexel University.
  • RIT.
  • Stanford University.
  • Tennessee Tech University.
  • University of Central Florida.
  • University of New Haven.

CPTC allows students to experience a day in the life of a penetration tester, according to RIT. It requires students to simultaneously defend an infrastructure and perform typical business tasks, thereby mimicking how penetration testing consulting happens in the real world.

What to Expect During CPTC

CPTC participants will pen test a network that supports a ride sharing app and autonomous vehicles, RIT said. They will attempt to break into computer networks created for the competition, examine their weak points and offer plans to better secure them.

In addition, CPTC teams of up to six students will interrogate a mock-company's network during the competition, RIT indicated. They then will present a findings report to CPTC judges and offer suggestions for mitigating risk.

CPTC also provides repositories of data that security researchers can use to engineer cybersecurity technology, CPTC National Director Justin Pelletier said. Furthermore, RIT researchers are combining past security competition data with criminology theories and machine learning to create simulations and models that predict when and how computer systems might be attacked.

Demand for Penetration Testing Increasing

CPTC helps college students understand how to effectively conduct network pen tests and identify and alleviate cyber threats. It also highlights the importance of pen testing for organizations worldwide.

Organizations can use pen tests to evaluate their IT infrastructure and identify misconfigurations, service errors and unsafe end user behaviors that could lead to data breaches. As such, the demand for pen testing is expected to grow.

The global pen testing market is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.7 percent between 2016 and 2021, according to industry analyst MarketsandMarkets. Meanwhile, this sector could be worth approximately $1.7 billion by 2021.

Can MSSPs Offer Pen Testing?

MSSPs can add penetration testing services to their portfolios, too.

Master MSP Collabrance in August integrated vulnerability and penetration (VUL/PEN) testing into its master MSSP offering for partners. Now, MSSPs can use Collabrance's master MSSP offering to run VUL/PEN tests to analyze customer risks and establish appropriate security protocols.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.