BIT student leads interdisciplinary team of cadets at the Deloitte Foundation Cyber Threat Competition
April 11, 2019
When Miguel Bustillo first learned about the Deloitte Foundation Cyber Threat Competition back in 2017, the business information technology (BIT) student decided to enter the team-based competition as a solo act. He did well enough in the online round of the contest to earn an invitation to the second round, held at the Deloitte Leadership Center in West Lake, Texas.
Unfortunately for Bustillo, who is also a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, he had a prior obligation and was not able to participate any further. The 2017 competition was ultimately won by a different team from Virginia Tech.
When it came time for the 2018 contest, Bustillo decided to bring along some friends.
“I was playing around on my computer, going through some of the online questions when a few of my friends asked me what I was doing,” Bustillo explained. “My friends are a group that, while they have a general interest in cybersecurity, are really interested in solving puzzles. We ended up forming a team.”
That team, consisting of Bustillo and fellow cadets: computer engineering major Jacob Abel; math major Dominic Castelli; and meteorology major Ryan Foley; worked on the five-question online round for several months during the fall semester. Ultimately, the team placed in the top four at Virginia Tech.
The top four finish earned Bustillo another invite to the Deloitte Leadership Center in Texas, where he and his team analyzed a simulated cyberattack, then pitched their proposed responses to a panel of C-level executives. While Bustillo’s team did not come out on top, the experience he and his teammates received by participating in the contest was invaluable.
“We made a lot of great connections at the event,” he explained. “There were a lot of professional development opportunities available to us.”
According to the Deloitte Foundation, the competition is designed and facilitated by Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory Cyber Risk Services in an effort to support the development of the next generation of cyber leaders. The Deloitte Foundation Cyber Threat Competition provides a competitive and interactive forum for college students to hone the skills needed to address increasingly sophisticated cyber risks in the marketplace.
“The competition had us operating at a strategic level while also looking at all of the different levels of a business,” explained Bustillo. “We had to look at the business as a whole rather than just concentrate on the technical side, requiring us to properly consult C-level executives on how to continue operations and minimize the threat, without being able to use our technical jargon.”
Bustillo stated that his education as a BIT major prepared him for such a role.
“BIT was made to communicate business to technology and to communicate technology to business,” he added.
According to College Factual, Virginia Tech’s BIT program is the fourth best Management Science and Quantitative Methods program in the nation, and the third most popular destination for students interested in Management Science and Quantitative Methods in a business school.
Written by Jeremy Norman