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Michigan Cyber Range to Debut SCADA Security Training Component

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that operate industrial systems are found at hospitals, water treatment facilities, energy plants, warehouses and other locations. In recent months, the security of SCADA systems against cyber attacks has become a growing concern nationally, especially since the discovery of the Stuxnet computer malware. To assist organizations that use SCADA systems, the Michigan Cyber Range has created a SCADA training component for its Alphaville cybersecurity environment that organizations can use to practice and learn security techniques to protect critical infrastructure.
Michigan Cyber Range
The Michigan Cyber Range will debut the new SCADA component at the Michigan Cyber Summit 2013 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan, on October 25, 2013. Staff from the Michigan Cyber Range will host a booth at the event, where they will demonstrate Alphaville and engage in capture the flag exercises within the virtual environment.

“We will be unveiling a SCADA component for Alphaville,” said Joe Adams, vice president of research and cyber security at Merit Network. “It will let people train on cybersecurity issues related to control systems, preparing them for real-life scenarios in a secure, virtual environment.”

The new SCADA module, which is called Alphaville Power & Electric, took approximately two and a half months to complete. The component reflects the computer infrastructure that is typically found in a power plant.

Since its launch in May 2013, the Alphaville environment has been used for several training events and workshops, with the largest event being a high school workshop that was done in conjunction with Eastern Michigan University. Alphaville is a virtual town that features computer systems for a library, police station, city hall, and power plant. Students and professionals are able to practice the detection and mitigation of cybersecurity threats, as well as participate in red team-blue team exercises using the secure virtual environment. The Michigan Cyber Range’s development team will next work on an incident response and recovery component for Alphaville, which will enable students and others to practice and learn business continuity and disaster recovery techniques.

In addition to the Michigan Cyber Summit, the Michigan Cyber Range staff will be attending the Michigan Digital Government Summit in Lansing on September 24-25 and the DerbyCon 3.0 in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 25-29.

“By attending these events, we are able to learn and participate. We can stay current on happenings in the security community and get ideas for things that we can bring back to the range,” Adams said.

In the next few months, the Michigan Cyber Range will be offering several cybersecurity certification courses online and in Ann Arbor, covering disaster recovery, penetration testing, and other topics. The range offers certifications for 14 cybersecurity disciplines in partnership with Mile2, a nationally respected training provider. For more about the upcoming courses, please visit: www.merit.edu/cyberrange/

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 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: www.merit.edu/cyberrange/

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: www.merit.edu

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