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Cybersecurity competition has serious undertones

DENVER -- Cyberspace, it's the new battlefield.

And with all the devices we have, we are all vulnerable.

"If you are on the internet, if you have a cellphone, if you have a laptop, if you have a tablet, if you have hooked up your thermostat to the internet, there are vulnerabilities out there," said Lt. Col. Brad Rhodes of the Colorado Army National Guard.

The only way to combat cyber threats is to train cyber soldiers.

That's where the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition comes in. It's a real-world scenario where the teams have assets they have to defend.

"We have teams from Utah, Colorado and from Nebraska and they all are competing as cyber defense teams," Rhodes said.

Ten teams from 10 colleges, 80 students total, will have two days to compete for points, and the right to compete in the upcoming national trials.

"It's definitely challenging. The thing I love about CCDC is I feel it takes everything you have learned in an IT program, or even like any kind of computing program and it says, 'OK, apply everything you've learned,'" said Sarah Cunha from Brigham Young University.

Besides being a competition, it's a recruiting ground for the more than 1 million current vacancies that will need to be filled to face the enemy on the cyber battleground.