Cyber ranges provide an environment in which cybersecurity professionals can work collaboratively to hone incident response skills, which is becoming increasingly vital as talent shortages increase across the sector.
Book learning can provide invaluable knowledge, but when real-world attacks strike, professionals need to be equipped to respond without consulting their answer key for guidance. One effective method to accomplish this goal is through hands-on functional learning.
What is a Cyber Range?
Cyber ranges are virtual environments used for cybersecurity training and simulation of technologies related to cybersecurity. Their size can range from one node up to an internet-like network and are found across various military, government and educational institutions as well as corporations that need cyber defense readiness or require testing of new security products.
Cyber ranges can be provided either on-premise or remotely through cloud environments, the latter of which offers ultimate flexibility when scaling users, teams and content quickly – allowing instructors to spin up environments quickly while eliminating the need to purchase and maintain expensive equipment.
A robust cyber range platform should offer numerous value-adding services, including powerful situational awareness dashboards, learning management components and an orchestration layer to map complex training environments to networks of virtual machines that represent real world networks. Furthermore, authors should easily be able to customize existing scenarios or build new ones based on their requirements.
What are the Benefits of Using a Cyber Range?
Cyber ranges provide a safe virtual environment to practice response strategies without impacting live systems, enabling training sessions to be repeated and updated based on changing threats. They’re also invaluable tools for screening potential employees or assessing existing security staff performance.
A good cyber range should be flexible enough to support multiple users simultaneously, and its vendors understand this difference and offer solutions tailored specifically for different environments – whether this means an offline hardware appliance with physical footprint, virtual on-premise solutions with reduced infrastructure spend or cloud based software-as-a-service solutions.
Scalability aside, the best cyber ranges provide advanced analytics to enable security leaders to compare performance against industry KPIs and create plans for urgent action, workforce succession or technological improvement. Furthermore, this information can also be used to refine incident response playbooks by showing which areas have been hit by an attack and where weakness in response teams exist.
How Can a Cyber Range Help Your Organization?
Cyber ranges provide security professionals with a safe and realistic learning environment in which to hone hands-on learning scenarios. While practicing defensive techniques on production systems or data can be risky in real life, cyber ranges allow security professionals to test out new strategies without risk of lasting repercussions.
Cyber ranges are invaluable tools for cybersecurity teams that can be used for training and assessing both current and potential employees. When selecting a vendor, look for one with solutions that enable simple creation and deployment of real-world cybersecurity training scenarios; this will save time and resources while helping the team focus on identifying candidates who meet job criteria while honing skills.
Cyber ranges can also assist organizations in their preparation for real attacks by stress testing their incident response plans – this is becoming increasingly relevant as regulations on both levels increase.
How Can a Cyber Range Help You?
Cyber ranges are essential in helping an organization respond quickly to new attacks. Cyber professionals gain hands-on experience and develop their abilities so they can defend against an ever-evolving threat landscape.
Cyber ranges not only offer an ideal platform to practice and perfect cybersecurity skills, they can also assist organizations with hiring and training challenges they are encountering across sectors ranging from the military to local governments – all struggling to locate qualified security personnel.
A good cyber range should be adaptable enough to meet the training requirements of different organizations, quickly configured and deployed for your training requirements. Consider solutions such as virtual software-as-a-service models which save infrastructure costs while supporting multiple users more easily, providing predictable cost structures as well as being easily configurable and deployable quickly for training purposes. Furthermore, flexible cyber ranges can easily accommodate various environments with differences in architecture, security and clearance levels, thus decreasing training times significantly when onboarding new staff or updating existing personnel.