University of Southern California Takes Top Honors at Deloitte Foundation Cyber Threat Competition

Deloitte Cyber Risk Services and the Deloitte Foundation sponsor event to address the rising cyber skills gap

Apr 20, 2015, 09:00 ET from Deloitte Foundation

STAMFORD, Conn., April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of students from the University Southern California (USC) presented the best analysis and incident response approach to a simulated cyberattack in order to claim victory at the first annual Deloitte Foundation Cyber Threat Competition. Jonas Guan, Priyank Nigam, Anokhy Desai, and Jai Musunuri, the school's team members, each received $2,000 in scholarships. The teams from Georgetown University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University placed second and third, respectively.

The competition was designed and facilitated by Deloitte Cyber Risk Services. For a student to reach the live, final round cyber wargame event, students successfully navigated online competitions with the highest scorers from each institution advancing to the next round. The top advancing four competitors from each school were then teamed together to face-off during the final two-day cyberattack simulation challenge held at Deloitte University, the organization's landmark campus for learning and leadership development near Dallas, Texas. To secure this year's win, the winning team from USC was able to look beyond the simulated cyberattack's technical impact and apply the logic, creativity, and problem solving skills needed to address the business risks inherent in most incident response efforts affecting organizations today.

"This competition was designed to be highly representative of real-world issues facing professionals working in most sectors across industry and government," said Emily Mossburg, principal at Deloitte & Touche LLP and leader of Cyber Risk Services resilient practice. "Cyber incidents are not merely technical issues; they are business issues that could impact every part of an organization from operations to brand and reputation management. It's important that students today learn about and prepare for the cyber risk issues they'll face as tomorrow's business leaders."

Participating institutions:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Georgetown University
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Houston
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Southern California
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

"The Deloitte Foundation accelerates positive change in education and the Cyber Threat Competition is a fun and innovative way for students to test and showcase their knowledge while gaining exposure to the reality of cyber risk preparedness that U.S. corporations are faced with today," said Carol Lindstrom, president, Deloitte Foundation. "It's important to be able to team with educators and students to help develop the talent of the future and support educators of that talent. We are proud of all the competitors and are thrilled to sponsor such an impactful event."

Students who choose cyber security as a profession have an opportunity to make significant contributions to protect the people around them, to help the economy thrive, and to defend national security. Universities play an important role in preparing future leaders to face tomorrow's business challenges. Deloitte Cyber Risk Services and Deloitte Foundation are pleased to support this annual event to bring awareness and practical application of the skills required to enable US businesses and government organizations to become secure, vigilant and resilient against future cyberattacks.

About The Deloitte Foundation
The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization that supports education in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives that help develop the talent of the future and their influencers and promote excellence in teaching, research and curriculum innovation. The foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefitting middle/high school students, undergraduates, graduate students and faculty. For more information, please visit the Deloitte Foundation web page at

About Deloitte Cyber Risk Services
Deloitte's Cyber Risk Services practice helps complex organizations more confidently leverage advanced technologies to achieve their strategic growth, innovation and performance objectives through proactive management of the associated cyber risks. With deep experience across a broad range of industries, Deloitte's more than 1,800 Cyber Risk Services practitioners provide advisory and implementation services, spanning executive and technical functions, to help transform legacy IT security programs into proactive, secure, vigilant and resilient cyber risk programs that better align security investments with risk priorities, establish improved threat awareness and visibility, and strengthen the ability of organizations to thrive in the face of cyber incidents.

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte & Touche LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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SOURCE Deloitte Foundation