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Merit Network Announces Collaborative Partnership with Mile2 for Michigan Cyber Range Courseware

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Merit Network, Inc. announced today a collaborative partnership with Mile2 to provide cyber security courseware and certifications through the Michigan Cyber Range. Together, Merit and Mile2 will provide accessible, world-class training to companies, students and cyber security professionals across the country.
Michigan Cyber Range
“I am proud to announce Merit’s partnership with Mile2. This collaboration is an ideal match, pairing Mile2’s internationally recognized and robust certification process with the Michigan Cyber Range’s world class education platform. The partnership announced today is the foundation for a superior cyber security educational experience, one that improves accessibility and delivers the most dynamic, experiential learning available,” said Dr. Joe Adams, executive director of Research and the Michigan Cyber Range, Merit Network.

“As host of the new Michigan Cyber Range, Merit Network has increased its organization’s responsibility and opportunity to educate and stand up the next generation of cyber warriors. Mile2 is proud to partner with Merit Network in this endeavor. With the implementation of the Mile2 cyber security curriculum and certifications, Merit Network will be able to offer the “best of breed” training in penetration testing, digital forensics, secure web applications, disaster recovery, network forensics and other Mile2 courses and certifications,” said Raymond Friedman, CEO of Mile2.

Merit and Mile2 will offer a slate of live instructor classes for 2013 in a number of different cyber security certifications. Dates are confirmed and registration is open for the first three certification courses.

Those courses are:

Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (CPTE), offered March 18-22, 2013.

Certified Information Systems Security Officer (CISSO), offered May 20-24, 2013.

Certified Disaster Recovery Engineer (CDRE), offered June 17-21, 2013.

Merit and Mile2 will continue to schedule more courses throughout the year. Dates and registration information for the remaining courses will be released in the near future.

The courses are offered at Merit’s leading edge training facilities in Ann Arbor, MI and are available to cyber security students and professionals everywhere. The courses utilize one of the most dynamic learning environments available–the Michigan Cyber Range.

The Michigan Cyber Range is an unclassified, air-gapped system overlaid on Merit’s extensive network. As such it enables students and professionals to practice, “live fire” cyber security exercises in a secure, monitored environment without impacting everyday network activity.

“Cyber security is a field in which one learns by doing. The more hands-on activity to reinforce course concepts available to students, the more likely it is that they will retain those concepts and put them to use after certification,” explained Dr. Adams.

“The industry standard course certification model begins with a substantial amount of books and training materials. It then continues with students studying upwards of 1,200 PowerPoint slides throughout the course of the class. Lab exercises are limited, and performed on small ad hoc networks the instructor has stood up.”

“Michigan Cyber Range courses provide students a rich array of hands-on learning opportunities in an adaptive learning environment on a world-class network. Through the partnership announced today, the Michigan Cyber Range augments Mile2’s robust course material with real-world application and delivers a better training experience to cyber security students and professionals,” Dr. Adams added.

As one of the only cloud-based cyber security education platforms in existence, the Michigan Cyber Range adds heightened accessibility to cyber security education. Students enrolled in a course through the Michigan Cyber Range are able to access labs and exercises on their own time and from the convenience of a location of their choice.

The Cyber Range’s virtual environment is powered by two physical sites connected to Merit’s 2,800 mile backbone, each capable of providing over 2,000 virtual nodes simultaneously to classes and exercises on the Range. Optimized for virtualized environments, the Range’s equipment provides a reliable and accessible platform for educators, trainers, and test engineers.

With today’s announcement, Merit and Mile2 are excited by the potential to offer Michigan Cyber Range courses to organizations beyond Michigan’s borders. The Merit backbone features direct links to key national and international Network Access Points for collaboration across the country and across the globe.

For more information on the Michigan Cyber Range:

About Michigan Cyber Range

The Michigan Cyber Range was developed in partnership with the State of Michigan to provide organizations with an unclassified, secure cybersecurity environment that can be used for training exercises, security applications, software testing, and educational purposes. It is hosted and facilitated by Merit Network and is sponsored by Consumers Energy and DTE Energy. The Range prepares cybersecurity professionals to detect, prevent and mitigate cyberattacks in a real-world setting, providing simulations that test the detection and reaction skills of participants in a variety of situations. The Michigan Cyber Range also offers certification courses for a number of cybersecurity disciplines, with instruction available on-site and live online. A full training schedule may be found at the Merit Michigan Cyber Range web site:

About Merit Network

Merit Network Inc., is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.

For more information:

About Mile2

Mile2 designs, develops, and delivers cyber security certifications and provides Information Assurance services that meet military, government, private sector and institutional specifications. Mile2 courses and certifications teach the fundamental principles of cyber security and follow a certification track that leads to advanced hands-on skills training for penetration testing and network forensics. Over the course of a decade, Mile2 has developed a robust schedule of cyber security certifications for prominent global organizations such as the C)ISSO (Certified Information Systems Security Officer) for the Canadian Department of National Defence; C)PTE (Certified Penetration Testing Engineer) for the United States Air Force; C)NFE (Certified Network Forensics Examiner) for a United States Counterintelligence Agency; and C)SWAE (Certified Secure Web Application Engineer) for Boeing Aerospace. In doing so, Mile2 has become the de facto standard for organizations and militaries worldwide. Presently, Mile2 has approximately 100 locations in its global network of Authorized Training Centers.

For more information: