cyber range team training

What Is a Cyber Range: An In-Depth Guide

How well is your organization prepared to respond to a cyber attack? According to the study, only 23% of organizations worldwide have consistently applied a cybersecurity response plan, and even fewer companies are sure if their playbooks can perform well. 

Cybersecurity skills can’t be taught overnight, but there is a solution that can effectively help organizations increase their level of preparedness for potential cyber threats and attacks through the power of a Cyber Range. 

In this article, we dive deep into this topic and talk about what is a cyber range, why they are important, and the benefits of utilizing this technology to ensure your organization’s security. 

What Is a Cyber Range?

Simply put, the cyber range is a simulated environment that organizations use to train cybersecurity professionals and test their incident response capabilities. Typically, cyber ranges include simulated network infrastructure, tools, and systems, which help organizations prepare for any kind of cyber threat or attack. 

The goal of a cyber range is to provide a safe environment and assist organizations in gaining hands-on cyber skills for security posture testing. 

The majority of cyber ranges feature a virtualization layer, as well as network and computing infrastructure. Cyber ranges also have the ability to virtualize any kind of environment, helping participants to practice their skills in a more advanced environment.

One of the biggest benefits of a cyber range is that they are interactive, simulated platforms and representations of networks, systems, and applications. They play a major role in fostering cybersecurity education, training, and certification.

Why Are Cyber Ranges Important?

Cyber ranges are important because they offer several use cases and advantages for different kinds of organizations all over the world. This technology can help them train and test their existing team to assess the cyber readiness of their organization, build an internal team for a large enterprise, and develop the upcoming generation of cybersecurity talent in the most sophisticated way. 

Different use cases for a cyber range technology include:

  • Learning Experience in a Safe Environment

One of the most useful features of a cyber range is that it provides a highly controlled virtual environment where organizations can reuse and replicate training modules at any time they want without having a major impact on their live networks and systems. 

This means that your organization’s team members can experiment and learn how to leverage new tools to improve their skill set. Having this kind of flexibility results in more hands-on training programs and an increased level of understanding among the team.

Besides, cyber ranges usually provide ready-made frameworks such as the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework, which provides a set of building blocks for describing the needed tasks and skills for individuals and teams to perform cybersecurity work. 

  • Team Assessment on Their Cybersecurity Skills

A cyber range is also a great tool to train and assess the skills of your employees. It can help you understand the level of your team’s knowledge and address skills development needs if necessary. 

At the same time, you can use it to assess your potential hires as well. These exercises can help you make sure that they have the proper knowledge and experience to tackle real cybersecurity challenges at work.

  • Place for Team to Collaborate and Learn From Each Other

Cyber ranges allow organizations to practice their team’s collaboration skills in simulated cyberattack scenarios. It is an ideal environment for your team members to practice their individual skills in a team setting. 

Cybersecurity should be a collaborative effort, and these kinds of exercises can help to raise awareness of this among the members of your organization.  

It is important to remember that a cyber range consists of different scenarios that can be quite competitive. This allows exercise participants to practice as a team and get ready to handle real-life cyber attacks and incidents. 

Benefits of Using a Cyber Range to Ensure the Security of Your Organization

There are several benefits for organizations to use cyber range technology and prepare for cyber threats with this framework. Some of the most notable ones include: 

  • Increase Readiness of Your Organization

The cyber range can help organizations increase their overall enterprise readiness for any kind of potential cyber threats or attacks. Every single employee can play an important role in maintaining a company’s high cybersecurity level. Therefore, skills employees develop through cyber ranges can be crucial for any kind of organization to develop a proper process for responding to cyber incidents.  

Other than that, with the help of cyber range, company executives have an opportunity to practice how to make key technical decisions to benefit their organization in the long run. This improves the overall coordination process, making the company ready to overcome potential cyber challenges. 

  • Organize Live Exercises for the Team

Companies can also use cyber ranges to run live team exercises. This approach lets a group of participants from an organization come together and practice working on a cyber incident as a team.

For example, a Red vs Blue team exercise, where a defending blue team is against an attacking red team, could help practice different skills in automated attack scenarios.

  • Better Optimize Security Processes

Another benefit that cyber range can bring is better optimization of an organization’s security processes and technology stack. 

Security stack validation can be challenging at times. Verifying them with cyber ranges allows you to test and adjust different processes, such as incident response plans, helping you to create a solid security readiness for your organization. 

  • Recreate Different Attack Scenarios

Cyber range technology allows organizations to replicate and recreate different attack scenarios. It can be very useful to stimulate different scenarios your company infrastructure can face. 

During the simulation, responsible people can practice their incident response playbooks and test the effectiveness of their reactions when facing a cyber threat. This can help the team apply learnings in the process and adjust protocols to improve the overall process. 

What Kinds of Organizations Need a Cyber Range?

Generally, government and military organizations were the ones who utilized the power of cyber ranges to imitate real-world scenarios and train themselves for effective responses against potential cyber-attacks. 

However, as the world became more digital and cyber threats grew in frequency, a broad range of businesses are now using a cyber range to train their staff and prepare them for upcoming challenges. 

The most common cases people utilize cyber ranges are the following:

  • Educators implementing cybersecurity education courses into their curricula.
  • Organizations who want to train for security operations and analysis.
  • Organizations seeking to evaluate candidates for their cybersecurity positions.
  • Individuals looking to train their skills and join the cybersecurity workforce.
  • Organizations testing new products and software releases.

How to Choose a Cyber Range?

When thinking about choosing the cyber range partner that fits your organization’s needs, it is important to keep different factors in mind

Firstly, you should identify the business requirements and think about what the ideal outcome would look like. What should the participants learn and prepare for? Which technologies need to be involved?

After that, you should find a balance between features and capacity. This is the time to think about what are the use cases that you need to have in your cyber range. Depending on that, you will understand whether you need integration with other external systems or not. 

Then, you can determine the hosting and licensing model that fits your organization’s capabilities and needs the most. You should consider whether you are looking to invest in a cyber range as a service or an in-house capability. 

You should also keep in mind that scalability is the key when it comes to cyber ranges. Generally, cyber ranges use virtualization technology, which can provide an orchestration layer that helps map complex training environments and display them in virtual machines.

After figuring out all these details, you can set the budget and choose the partner that best suits your organization. 

How Can CybExer Technologies Help?

At CybExer, we have been at the forefront of driving change and shaping the industry since 2016. We are committed to providing global organizations with advanced Cyber Range technology and helping them prepare to tackle potential cyber challenges in the future. 

Our platform offers a wide range of advanced cyber security training modules designed to enhance the cyber capabilities of organizations on a global scale. 

If you’d like to learn more about our offering and products, schedule a call with our cyber range experts to discuss your organization’s needs.