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VA Tech Launches U.S. Cyber Range

A Commonwealth of Virginia initiative is now expanding to meet the demand for cybersecurity education across the country.

The Virginia Cyber Range will offer its award-winning cybersecurity education services to educators, industry, and others across the nation through a new offering named the U.S. Cyber Range of Virginia Tech.

The U.S. Cyber Range will provide a cost-effective service for schools and businesses that are looking to provide cybersecurity education and training. Built primarily with academic users in mind, the U.S. Cyber Range supports courseware and hands-on environments for cybersecurity students. Small businesses and others are also welcome to take advantage of the cyber range for information security staff training and certification preparation.

“There is an increasing emphasis on cybersecurity education as the United States grapples with significant shortfalls in candidates to fill open cyber jobs,” said David Raymond, director of the Virginia Cyber Range. “The U.S. Cyber Range comes just as many states are expanding cybersecurity offerings in high schools and colleges, and we are prepared to provide support to these classes.”

Virginia Tech collaborated early with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop their completely cloud-based cyber range infrastructure. “The cloud has allowed the Virginia Cyber Range, and now the U.S. Cyber Range, to quickly and cost-effectively scale to meet the rapid growth in demand for its services,” said Scott Midkiff, vice president for information technology and chief information officer for Virginia Tech. “Working with AWS has been invaluable to provide critical technical support, allowing us to build a cyber range in the public cloud.”

“We are the first cloud-native, large-scale cyber range offering and we couldn’t have been successful without a lot of help from the team at AWS,” Raymond said.

“We are always working to find ways to improve student outcomes and through workforce development prepare today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Andrew Ko, global education director, AWS. “This type of work from the Virginia Cyber Range is critical in addressing the increasing demand for cyberspace expertise.”

The Virginia Cyber Range was created in July 2016 with the mission to provide resources for cybersecurity education to public high schools and colleges across the state in an effort to jump-start the pipeline of qualified cybersecurity experts needed to fill tens of thousands of jobs in Virginia. Since then, the range has grown to support 5,000 students and faculty at more than 200 high schools, community colleges, and universities in Virginia.

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