App State ranks in top 10% for cybersecurity nationally

Appalachian State University has been named to the Cyber Power Rankings, a list of the top 100 schools teaching real-world cybersecurity tasks in virtual training environments.

The list is published by the National Cyber League (NCL), which hosts competitions for students to hone their skills alongside 10,000 students from more than 500 colleges and universities (and 100 high schools) across US.

App State, which houses a cybersecurity concentration and minor in its Department of Computer Information Systems, is the top ranked school in the UNC System.

Students identified hackers from forensic data, pentested and audited vulnerable websites, recovered from ransomware attacks, and participated in other cybersecurity-related activities.  Dr. Scott Hunsinger, chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems at App State said, "Our students' performance in the National Cyber League has ranked us in the top 10% nationally — 47th out of 521 colleges and universities, based on students' individual and team game scores in the competition."

Last academic year, Dr. Russell Haines, associate professor of Computer Information Systems, and Mr. Chris Taylor, Cybersecurity Program Coordinator, began coaching students to compete in the National Cyber League.  Dr. Haines led App State's fall 2023 efforts, helping students to prepare for the competition.  

Schools are ranked based on competition scores, including team, individual and aggregate performances. 

Related: App State students to compete in National Cyber League

About App State's Cybersecurity Program

Students in the Appalachian State University's Computer Information Systems and Cybersecurity programs gain valuable professional skills and capabilities, enabling them to pursue a wide variety of technology-related careers. Students learn how to successfully interface between the technical and management aspects within companies. Through coursework, projects and internships, students develop the knowledge to serve as the bridge between business areas and IT. They learn to work with networks, databases, websites and integrated systems. Graduates are equipped to decipher computer viruses and identify program vulnerabilities. Learn more at

Team Cybersharks practicing to compete.
Published: Nov 21, 2023 10:59am