updated 3/10/2011 11:46:20 AM ET 2011-03-10T16:46:20

LAUREL, Md., March 10, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is participating as a platinum sponsor of the 6th Annual Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC). The event is scheduled for today through Saturday at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

The competition pits student teams from two- and four-year colleges and universities against "red team" hackers who are trying to disrupt and compromise their networks. Students are focused on the operational aspects of managing and protecting a network infrastructure. Teams are scored based on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain availability of existing services (e.g., e-mail servers), respond to business requests (e.g., add user accounts), and balance security needs against business needs. 

The winner of the Mid-Atlantic CCDC will advance to represent the region in the National CCDC, April 8-10, in San Antonio.

"Grooming tomorrow's workforce is a top priority for Northrop Grumman," said Diane Miller, director of operations, Northrop Grumman Cybersecurity Group and program director, CyberPatriot.  "Competitions like these give students a real-life opportunity to test their network defense skills and see how their actions directly affect how their company operates and how critical assets are protected. It also provides companies like ours an excellent opportunity to select from the best and brightest talent."

Students from the following eight institutions will be competing for a chance to go to the national competition. Finalists include Capitol College, Md.; Craven Community College, N.C.; Forsyth Technical Community College, N.C.; George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; Hagerstown Community College, Md.; James Madison University, Va.; University of Maryland, College Park, Md.; Wilmington University, Del. 

Cyber professionals from Northrop Grumman's nearby Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC) will participate and provide students a tour of their world-class cyber threat detection and response center in Annapolis Junction, Md. The CSOC which opened in July 2009 focuses on protecting Northrop Grumman and its customers' networks and data worldwide.

On March 12, more than 150 area high school students will also participate in a day-long program aimed at raising their awareness of cybersecurity careers. 

CCDC is hosted by CyberWatch, the National Science Foundation, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and the Community College of Baltimore County. For more information about the competition, go to www.MidAtlanticCCDC.org .

Northrop Grumman is actively engaged in supporting cybersecurity education, training and technology. In addition to sponsoring the CCDC, the company is the Presenting Sponsor for CyberPatriot III, a national high school cyber competition designed to excite, educate and motivate the next generation of cyber defenders. The company has also formed a Cybersecurity Research Consortium, an industry/academia partnership addressing the cybersecurity challenges of the future. Last November, the company partnered with the University of Maryland Baltimore County Research Park Corporation to create a pipeline for new cybersecurity technologies. Northrop Grumman has also launched its own Cyber Academy to promote professional training and development and attract top-level talent. For more information on Northrop Grumman in cybersecurity, go to www.northropgrumman.com/cybersecurity .

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

CONTACT: Marynoele Benson
         Northrop Grumman Information Systems
         (703) 556-1651
         marynoele.benson@ngc.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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