Rhode Island’s first cyber range dedicated solely to educating and training students and industry professionals is officially open at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Newport County Campus.
State leaders, including Gov. Gina Raimondo, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed and House Finance Chairman Marvin Abney joined CCRI President Meghan Hughes in Newport Friday, Oct. 28, to unveil the cutting-edge Rhode Island Cyber Range Initiative. View photos from the event.
“The partnership that brought the range to CCRI is evidence of government and industry working together to ensure that Rhode Islanders have the training for high-demand, high-wage jobs with Rhode Island employers,” Hughes said Friday morning.
The range features dozens of computer monitors, screens and networking equipment that will provide a unique, hands-on testing environment and educational setting with a virtual platform for security modeling, simulation and job training for future cyberprofessionals.
“Imagine yourself here, training on the best equipment learning how to keep our government and businesses safe from cyberthreats and graduating and getting a good job that values your skills,” Hughes said.
Participants will be able to recreate their network in a controlled environment and test, evaluate and validate their cybersecurity capabilities and review advanced analytics of networks that may be subject to countless simulated cyberattacks.
This will help prepare a professional workforce, but it also will help educate the community about preparing and responding to a cyberthreat, said Peter T. Gaynor, director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.
“The cyber range initiative will be essential in developing and supporting future cybersecurity professionals in Rhode Island as well as training best practices on our cybersecurity network,” Gaynor said.
The range will complement CCRI’s new Cybersecurity associate degree program and help prepare students for jobs in the rapidly growing cyber sector, officials said.
“The reality is all of us depend on technology now more than ever,” Raimondo said.
The vulnerability to a cyber attack will increase as people lean more heavily on technology, which only will drive demand for more jobs in the cybersecurity industry.
The state – and CCRI – is now in position to prepare students to fill these jobs, Raimondo said. “What we need to do is to take that challenge and that vulnerability and turn it into an opportunity,” she said.
The initiative is a partnership between the state, EMA, CCRI, the Rhode Island State Police, the Rhode Island National Guard and the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance.