Cybersecurity is an ever-expanding field. In order to stay current, training, development, and constant learning are necessary. One of these training methods has historically been competitions. Cybersecurity competitions provide a method for competitors to experience firsthand cybersecurity concepts and situations. These experiences can help build interest in, and improve skills in, cybersecurity.

While there are diverse types of cybersecurity competitions, most are run with on-premise hardware, often centralized at a specific location, and are usually limited in scope by available hardware. This research focuses on the possibility of running cybersecurity competitions, specifically CCDC style competitions, in a public cloud environment.

A framework for running cybersecurity competitions in general was developed and is presented in this research. The framework exists to assist those who are considering moving their competition to the cloud.

After the framework was completed, a CCDC style competition was developed and run entirely in a public cloud environment. This allowed for a test of the framework, as well as a comparison against traditional, on-premise hosting of a CCDC. The cloud-based CCDC created was significantly less expensive than running a comparable size competition in on-premise hardware. Performance problems—typically endemic in traditionally-hosted CCDCs—were virtually non-existent. Other benefits, as well as potential contraindications, are also discussed.

Another CCDC style competition, this one originally built for on-premise hardware, was then ported to the same public cloud provider. This porting process helped to further evaluate and enrich the framework. The porting process was successful, and data was added to the framework.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type




First Advisor

Dale C. Rowe

Second Advisor

Barry M. Lunt

Third Advisor

Derek L. Hansen


cybersecurity, IT, cloud, virtualization, competition, CCDC