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Congratulations to Zach Watkins, Placing First at Cyber Yankee CTF Competition

Updated: Jun 17

Zach Watkins (middle, left) accepting his award for placing first in the SANS Capture the Flag competiton hosted during Cyber Yankee 2024.
Zach Watkins (middle, left) accepting the award for placing first in the SANS Capture the Flag competiton hosted during Cyber Yankee 2024.

Deer Brook is excited to congratulate our own Zach Watkins, VP of Technical Services, on placing first overall in this year's SANS Capture the Flag (CTF) competition at Cyber Yankee 2024.

Cyber Yankee is the National Guard's annual cyber training event that focuses on prevention and response tactics for Defense, State, federal agencies, and utility companies in New England.

CTF competitions take teams or individuals and task them with solving a series of cybersecurity-related puzzles that combine problem-solving skills, technical knowledge, and creativity. Within a certain time limit, teams and participants compete to collect the most flags that serve as proof that challenges have been correctly solved.

The concept of Cyber Yankee's CTF competition is meant to encourage critical thinking about how to improve operations in complex threat scenarios. Participants work together with partners in the private sector, emulating the circumstances of a real cyberattack.

This year's CTF exercise saw over 100 military personnel compete in a modern day, realistic cyber scenario that challenged their skills across disciplines such as cryptography, network security, and forensics. 

Zach, now having won the exercise two years in a row, was a key contributor for the winning team that captured the most flags all throughout Cyber Yankee 2024.

About Zach Watkins

Zach, VP of Technical Services, drives and supports Deer Brook's Technical Services team.

As a Cyber Systems Operations Specialist for the United States Air Force, he is prolific and experienced in a variety of technical services including developing systems, maintaining equipment, and keeping systems compliant.

Zach is a Certified Ethical Hacker, and has earned Server+ and Security+ certifications.


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