Cyber Range: Fueling the Next Generation of Cyber Defenders

Jan 15, 2018
4 minutes
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According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, the best cybersecurity investment business leaders can make is better training: “As the scale and complexity of the cyber threat landscape is revealed, so too is the general lack of cybersecurity readiness in organizations, even those that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on state-of-the-art technology.”

The challenge is how to focus the training on the right approach, and on the right people. Cybersecurity proficiency today is rife with complexity. Just think about the many places corporate data resides, from smartphones and laptops to AWS, Azure or other cloud instances, and partner networks. Traditionally air-gapped ICS/SCADA networks – the very networks that run our power, lighting, production networks and more – are also now more accessible by the business than ever.

Many different people now share the responsibility of securing data and supporting operations. And as our networks continuously expand and evolve, so do the functions that must be trained to secure them. But without the time, propensity or funds to send every conceivable employee with security responsibility in the company through formal schooling, how can these professionals acquire the knowledge, tools and techniques they’ll need to take on this responsibility? What type of training is best to cover the diversity of skills and positions – all within the context needed for their specific jobs?

Finding the appropriate level of training to develop the next generation of passionate, agile and sophisticated professionals, wherever they sit in the company, isn’t easy – yet it’s critical to address today’s security challenges.

Cyber Range is a demonstrable way to experience how analytics-based automation changes the cybersecurity paradigm in a meaningful way.

The Palo Alto Networks Cyber Range arms a diversity of practitioners with a curriculum to protect the availability, integrity and confidentiality of their data and networks. Cyber Range transforms passionate, talented folks into a community of highly capable, “badass” cyber defenders with one goal in mind: to protect our way of life in the digital age by preventing successful cyberattacks. Today, we are announcing the first of many Palo Alto Networks Cyber Range centers, located at our campus in Amsterdam.

Cyber Range – The First Step Toward Protecting Our Digital Way of Life

The best way for human beings to retain knowledge is to apply it beyond the classroom. Not all companies and government agencies can take on the challenges of building and maintaining their own Cyber Range to keep the attacks and curriculum fresh, but they can come to a Palo Alto Networks campus to participate in a Cyber Range training experience there. Our standard curriculum only requires one day out of the office – and it’s free.

“It’s one thing to sit in a classroom and hypothesize, developing hypothetical plans to implement a defensive course of action should your security teams come up against a given threat. It’s quite another to become submerged in a hands-on training experience. Cyber Range arms security operations teams with real-world defense techniques that can be applied immediately to prevent threats and preserve the integrity of your business.”

– Rinki Sethi. senior director, Information Security, Palo Alto Networks

Our Cyber Range is a place for people to get firsthand experience with today’s threats in a semi-competitive, secured environment. It naturally breeds a culture of acceptance and collaboration, and allows professionals from diverse backgrounds and experiences to gain confidence in terms of the value that they can bring to cyber defense.

Next-Level Problem Solving to Maximize Investments

Cyber readiness – through best practices and innovative technology that solves real problems, together with open lines of communication across technical and business teams – is key to effective prevention, detection and response. If you recall the quote from the Harvard Business Review, even those who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on state-of-the-art technology aren’t necessarily equipped to defend their business from the ever-growing community of cyber adversaries.

“Cyber Range provides the powerful opportunity for your security teams to witness and defend against real-world attacks coming through, and it doesn’t stop at the technology aspect. Participation provides the strategic and necessary ability to collaborate and communicate cross-functionally with a diverse group of peers. It is with this holistic understanding and approach that security teams can gather the full scope and context around an attack and confidently make decisions to prevent threats from impacting your organization.”

– Lucas Moody, CISO, Palo Alto Networks

Cookie-cutter simulations and tabletop exercises do not deliver the value necessary for effective cyber readiness. There’s no substitute for real-world experience. Consider this a strategic investment in your business, and consider sending your teams – networking, infrastructure, DevOps, OT and security operations, especially –  to a Cyber Range.

Register now for one of our free Cyber Ranges.


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