Practice. We're told it's what makes things perfect. When it comes to defending against massive, devastating cyberattacks, the tricky thing is finding an organization willing to expose their infrastructure to ruin while defenders practice their craft. That's where the cyber range comes in.
A cyber range is a controlled virtual environment where all of the worst fruits of the criminal hacker's labors can be visited upon an unsuspecting victim - and repelled, again and again, by white hats in training until their craft has been honed and their profession perfected.
That practice is critical for the growing number of cybersecurity students in university programs and the security professionals who increasingly lean on university resources to improve their strategies, tactics, and technology for defense.
The needs of those professionals and the companies that employ them are why universities are pushing forward with constructing cyber ranges. Those same needs are why many of the universities are partnering with security firms to build and manage the ranges. A look at some of the institutions involved in the trend shows that there is no geographical boundary to the rise. If there is any common thread it seems to be a location within driving distance of a major military or law enforcement facility, but even that is becoming less important as the number of cyber ranges increases.
Among the cyber ranges we list here are those that are in the building stage, those that are open but still developing their full capabilities, and those that are complete and fully in the business of educating cybersecurity professionals. The one thing this list can't be is complete: The value of cyber ranges is such that new facilities are being planned and announced on a monthly basis. Read on for more.