The Need For Cyber Ranges

The ever expanding need for cybersecurity professionals is apparent, if not overwhelming. Talent pools seem constantly tapped out and even the most stable teams are at risk of losing members to greener pastures. To help solve this expected skills gap, organizations are beginning to look beyond traditional cyber security training paths such as, CBT, ILT, self taught, word of mouth, etc. and looking towards more creative ways to assess and train for cyber security.

What is a Cyber Range exactly?

Out of this need for improved training is a new wave of products often called Cyber Ranges. Cyber Ranges have been around for some time, but have often focused on network security.

They provide dedicated environments for training and development, and provide an improved learning experience compared to the traditional methods available to teams. While users typically rave about the experience provided by ranges, access has often been limited due to the costly nature of developing, delivering and maintaining the immersive Cyber Range experience.

As the need to find more engaging methods of training grows, so does acceptance of immersive experiences. Traditionally there is a direct correlation with “immersive” and “gamification”, effectively guided experiences that help users learn through a more engaging, game like medium.

As Cyber Ranges have evolved, so have the experiences associated with them. The traditionally linear, predictable and guided paths associated with gamification are being replaced with open ended, “choose your own adventure” style experiences. The results are a much more lifelike engagement, requiring not just learning about security issues, but also learning the process to identify, build and implement multi-faceted attacks that are encountered in real life.

Put another way, gamification has evolved into simulation much like a flight simulator aims to do. This results in a shift from machine guided learning to free-form, self guided experience that speeds up learning and greatly improves retention.

Cyber Ranges Perfect for the Application Security Space

Additional factors driving this resurgence include:

  • The emergence of cloud technologies that allow for easier and more cost effective development and deployment

  • Increasing cultural acceptance of immersive experiences for learning purposes

  • A skills gap requiring exploration of alternative training and recruiting methods

  • Ability to engage with disparate team members in real time to encourage active learning and community building

  • A need to improve employee satisfaction through interesting, engaging and immersive experiences

A Cyber Range is a training platform that helps people learn to think like an attacker, exploit vulnerabilities and build camaraderie among team members as they do. Increasingly, they are also becoming a method for assessing the skills of individual team members and identifying areas of improvement - effectively helping to streamline the traditional training activities required based on demonstrated real life skills.

Have we peeked your interest in cyber ranges?  Curious to try one out?  We are giving away the gift of hacking this holiday season.  From Dec. 21-Jan. 2, 2019 you can try out our CMD+CTRL Cyber Range for free!  Just register here and you can test your hand at hacking starting Dec. 21st.

Get the Gift of Hacking

To keep your cyber range skills up-to-speed, be sure and follow our next three blog posts.