The University of New Mexico Information Assurance (IA) program recently developed the Network Exploitation Security Team. NEST is a new campus-wide student organization for graduate and undergraduate students with various backgrounds and majors who are interested in information systems and security fields.
NEST was started by Catherine Zittlosen, a UNM Anderson MBA student in the IA program, to give its members the opportunity to grow professionally through training and career guidance by security professionals from Sandia National Labs and Central New Mexico Community College and to provide security assistance and reviews to community organizations. 
A significant benefit to NEST members is the opportunity to participate in Cyber Security Awareness Competitions against the top schools in the United States and around the world. 
The UNM team ranked in the top 15 percent at the Cyber Security Awareness Week – Capture the Flag Competition hosted by New York University.  The 72-hour competition is designed for undergraduate students who want to learn more about computer security by participating in exercises that require them to react to cyber attacks found in the real world. 
“This type of competition provides a tremendous opportunity to the students,” Anderson School Dean Doug Brown said.  “It helps them build both technical and managerial skills that make them very competitive job applicants when they graduate from UNM.” 
Students interested in joining NEST, or community organizations who would like a security assessment, can contact Catherine Zittlosen at or Alex Seazzu, faculty advisor and director of the Center for Information Assurance Research & Education, at
For more information about the competition, visit: CSAW CTF 2013