A training range for cybersecurity? Michigan's got one

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By: SGN Staff

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The Michigan Cyber Range isn't really anything like a gun range where people punch neat little holes in paper targets, but its mission is remarkably similar: cybersecurity testing, training and research. Essentially, it's a way to simulate malware attack situations without effecting (or jeopardizing) operating electric grids – practice without causing problems.

 

The training part of that mission involves giving individuals and organizations the opportunity to learn detection and reaction skills by working through simulations and exercises, according to an article in Government Technology. It is open to students and technology pros and offers a complete curriculum with meetings and workshops in addition to cybersecurity training and awareness.

 

The ball began rolling in the middle of last year when Michigan Governor Rick Snyder convened a wide-ranging group of business, security and technology experts to discuss what was needed and how to accomplish it. They worked with a variety of people and agencies as they developed a plan, including NIST, DOE, Defense and others, as well as the private sector.

 

Once the details were nailed down Merit Network Inc., an organization that formed in the 60s to design and set up a computer network between the state's universities, was selected to run the Cyber Range.

 

While its creators consider the Michigan range unique, they plan to network with other cyber ranges. Students will connect with the range through university classes and programs and companies and government will have access through site visits and virtual private networks.

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