SIUC Student Wins Individual Title in Nationwide Security Challenge

May 16, 2018

A recent SIU graduate took home the gold, just before he walked across the stage.

Trenton Taylor, who graduated this past weekend, won first place at the Spring 2018 National Cyber League competition, where he competed against 3,300 students, and he says winning is exciting, because he's worked hard.

"Every year you feel like you're progressing on something, like, every year I'd pick something I didn't do well in, and really like focus on learning that. Sometimes I did it over the whole semester. Sometimes I kind of did it a week before. Whatever. It all depended on how much time I had."
 
The competition lasted several days and Taylor says accuracy, is more important than speed.
 
"One of the big things they look for is that you know what you're doing and you're not going back and telling your boss, in the real world, 'hey this is what happened,' and then, no, it's not. It's a race after those things."

 He thanks professors from John A. Logan and SIU, but his advice to future competitors is to work just as hard out of class.
 
"A lot of this stuff is just stuff I learned in like class and I just, maybe there wasn't time in the class to really focus in on it, but like, finding that time, finding a project to work on that'll hone these skills, that's how I learned a lot of the things that came in handy. Just like, learning programing even if it's not your major, learning networking, even if it's not your major."
 
SIU had two teams compete. The Gold Team, which Taylor was a part of, finished 15th and the Alpha Team finished 22nd. There were 250 teams in the competition.