Cyber, Our Culture 2 MIN Read

Cyber Skills in Action: Highlights from GDIT’s 2023 Cyber Hackathon

December 29th, 2023

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With the rise in cyber incidents and the ever-changing threat landscape, our annual Cyber Hackathon is a critical forum to engage in a hands-on battle against some of today’s most pressing cybersecurity challenges. This year’s event, held at our Falls Church headquarters, was a resounding success, epitomizing the spirit of teamwork and innovation in cybersecurity.

The competition, a series of hands-on cybersecurity challenges, revolved around practical exercises and scenarios designed to deepen participants’ understanding of defensive cyber operations, particularly in SIEM, SOAR, and XDR capabilities.

Utilizing Splunk’s security platform, participants engaged in a “boss of the SOC” competition, a blue-team, jeopardy-style event, tackling real-world security incidents. Concurrently, they explored CrowdStrike’s Falcon platform, focusing on threat hunting and identity protection scenarios, gaining valuable insights into threat detection and environmental protection strategies.

This year’s participation doubled in size with six in-person teams and 24 virtual teams, collectively made up of cyber professionals from government agencies, GDIT staff, and partners, all converging to test and expand their cybersecurity expertise.

Congratulations to Team Amsterdam, comprised of Internal Revenue Service and GDIT cyber professionals, in their victory. Their win, a repeat of last year’s success, along with the strong performances of Team Rio de Janeiro and Team London, underscored the impressive skillsets and collaboration among the participants. All the participants demonstrated their commitment to cybersecurity excellence.

The Hackathon not only showcased the application of advanced cyber and artificial intelligence tools and tactics but also echoed the principles outlined in our recent Bedrock Defenses research study. This study emphasized the integration of AI and proactive strategies in defensive cyber operations, underscoring the necessity of evolving defense tactics in the face of growing cyber threats.

As we look ahead, these learning experiences and collaborative efforts are pivotal in preparing us for the cybersecurity challenges of tomorrow. I’m eagerly anticipating next year’s Cyber Hackathon and the innovative solutions our teams will bring to the evolving cyber battlefield.

GDIT and Splunk's Cyber Hackathon group photo