The Cyber Range is a virtual, interactive environment designed to simulate real-world networks, systems, and applications for cybersecurity education, cyber defense training, and cyber technology research and development. The Cyber Range provides a safe, secure environment where students, researchers, industry professionals, and government can strengthen theoretical learning alongside practical training on the latest threats and tactics to be better prepared for the realities of defending a network or against an actual attack. The EnterpriseKC Cyber Range will also be used to train and certify cybersecurity professionals.
The risks we face from cyber-attacks continue to intensify, and no one is immune. The cybersecurity threat landscape touches every industry, every corner of the region, and, as a result, every resident in the region. More troubling is the fact that this country and this region faces a severe shortage of talented workers to combat the threat. Over 750,000 open cybersecurity jobs remain unfilled nationally. Kansas has over 8,500 open cybersecurity jobs across the state, and when we include all of Kansas together with Western Missouri, the number of open cybersecurity jobs jumps to more than 14,000. One-third of those cybersecurity jobs do not require a 2-year or 4-year degree.
In addition, lack of real-world work experience is the number one challenge identified by industry when hiring new cybersecurity graduates across all education pathways. Graduates – even those holding cybersecurity certificates may have the theory down, but actually putting it into practice is something else entirely.
The vision for the EnterpriseKC Cyber Range is…
Imagine a regional interactive learning and assessment environment for cybersecurity education and real-world job experience that serves to create the most agile, educated, and experientially trained cybersecurity workforce in the country.
Imagine a regional threat simulation environment for cybersecurity research, new product development and product testing that help fortify our cybersecurity defenses so we can better protect our region’s citizens, enterprises, and critical infrastructure.
The mission of the EnterpriseKC Cyber Range is to provide real-world, hand-on cybersecurity experiences to create the most agile, educated, and experientially trained cybersecurity workforce in the country and to provide a configurable environment to simulate real-world cybersecurity threats to test defense strategies and conduct research and testing on new solutions to mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks.
The Cyber Range will allow for multiple user groups to not only gain access to up-to-date curriculum and theory, but also to practice in a simulated real-world environment. A few examples:
The vision and mission of the EnterpriseKC Cyber Range will allow for multiple user groups to not only gain access to up-to-date curricula and theory, but also to practice in a simulated real-world environment. The Range will serve…
The Cyber Range will include content that covers K-12, higher education, workforce development, continuing education, and will be made available to Kansas students or residents by simply registering and receiving secure log-in credentials.
Grades K-8 – Educators in K-8 will be able to utilize the cyber range to spark interest in cybersecurity and help students determine if a career in cybersecurity is of interest to them. The cyber range will also include interactive career videos to introduce cybersecurity as a potential career choice at a young age. Students who have mastered the basics of cybersecurity will also have the opportunity to perform threat scenario simulations and compete in competitions.
Grades 9-12 – The Range will provide hands-on cyber threat scenarios, cybersecurity courses that map to the NICE framework, game-based learning, and competitions such as capture the flag exercises and Cyber Patriot competitions for High school students.
Higher Education – Undergraduate and postgraduate students will obtain relevant real-world learning and simulation to ensure they are well-equipped to meet the demands of the industry upon graduation. Professors and instructors will have the opportunity to create their own scenarios that map to individual lesson plans.
Industry – Enterprises and businesses across the region will be able to leverage the educational tools available on the range to increase employee awareness of cyber risks, train employees on specific policies and procedures within their organizations.
State and Local Government – City, county, and state government employees will be able to leverage the education and testing tools available on the range to increase employee awareness of cyber risks and train government employees on specific policies and procedures within their organizations.
Transitioning Military – Transitioning military will have a similar user profile compared to high school and higher education user classes. The range can be utilized to train transitioning military members as well as those looking to transition their careers to cybersecurity and provide the real-world learning needed to obtain a job in cybersecurity.
Continuing Education – Non-cyber-focused individuals in the region will be able to utilize the cyber range to increase their risk awareness and acquire general knowledge about relevant topics in cybersecurity and understand how the risks impact the region. The range will provide documentation and contact information to help create general awareness of cybersecurity principles for non-cyber-focused individuals.
Competencies are the characteristics and skills that enable a performer to do the work assigned to them efficiently and effectively. Competencies may be learned and perfected in many ways, but regardless of where the competency was learned, employers must understand what employees and potential employees know and can do. The Learning Management System within the Cyber Range is designed to help learners develop and demonstrate the competencies that employers seek when hiring and provides employers with the tools to know that a competency has been obtained.
The ability to test an organization's system defenses to ensure they are capable of responding to and recovering rapidly from cyber-threat disruptions is a key benefit of the Cyber Range, helping an organization understand how the latest cyber-threats affect the organization's digital systems. The Cyber Range allows associates responsible for IT and cybersecurity to understand how a network redesign or patch installation affects the organization's digital infrastructure against various attack vectors. The Cyber Range also will help critical infrastructure groups – those responsible for our water, power grid, and energy supply to simulate operating environments and test their defenses against the latest attack vectors.
The Cyber Range is designed to provide a virtual environment for the quantitative, qualitative, and realistic assessment of potentially ground-breaking technologies for cyber research and new product development. Researchers will utilize the cyber range to carry out security research across a wide variety of cybersecurity categories, including new attack detection, malware emulation, and more. Researchers will also utilize the range as a lab to test innovative products and novel concepts.
EnterpriseKC believes that the results produced by the Cyber Range will have a direct impact on filling high-value, high-opportunity cybersecurity jobs and will help fortify cybersecurity awareness and defenses to better protect our region’s citizens, enterprises, and critical infrastructure. In addition, the creation of a cyber range provides the following benefits to the region:
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