Regent University in Virginia Beach announced plans to open a stand-alone cyber range, one of the few of its kind at a private or Christian university. The cyber security simulation center would mimic networks and then train individuals to protect against designed attacks.
The cyber range can pinpoint weaknesses in any organization’s simulated network and help develop new protocols and countermeasures. Users can operate under several models. With up to four teams of five people, the facility can set up groups against each other or a hacker against the whole team.
“Simulation training is such a new idea when it comes to cyber,” said Sam Friedman, director of sales at Cyberbit Ltd., the cyber range manufacturer. “Cyber training up to now has been a lot of theory, reading in books, or online multiple choice tests. We look at cybersecurity like a defense company looks at security. You’d never train a soldier in a classroom without testing them in the field.”
The cyber range will be primarily for graduate students in the university’s cybersecurity program, said Gerson Moreno-Riano, Regent executive vice president for academic affairs. He said seniors with capstone projects could use the range, but freshmen through juniors would have limited exposure. A ribbon cutting for facility is planned for Oct. 3.
The goal of the training is fill a 1.5 million job shortage of cybersecurity workers the Bureau of Labor Statistic predicted for 2019.
“Universities are not doing a good enough job of filling that need with their students,” Moreno-Riano said.