Cyber Range

Making Virginia a national resource for cybersecurity education

The Virginia Cyber Range is a Commonwealth of Virginia initiative with a mission to enhance cybersecurity education in our high schools, colleges, and universities. The Cyber Range will provide an extensive courseware repository for educators and a cloud-hosted environment for hands-on cybersecurity labs and exercises for students.

The Virginia Cyber Range was proposed by Governor McAuliffe in spring 2016 as part of his vision to boost Virginia’s cybersecurity industry through strategic educational investments. The Cyber Range is led by an executive committee representing public institutions that are nationally recognized centers of academic excellence in cybersecurity within the Commonwealth.

Labs and exercises

The primary feature of the Virginia Cyber Range is a cloud-hosted, virtual environment where students will be able to practice what they have learned in immersive, hands-on laboratory exercises to complement their cybersecurity courses. More large-scale exercises and an extensive capture-the-flag environment will also be offered in the Virginia Cyber Range beginning in summer 2017.

Courseware Repository

The Virginia Cyber Range will contain a repository of cybersecurity courseware to support full high school and college courses on various cybersecurity topics such as secure network configuration and network defense, digital forensics, penetration testing, cyber law and policy, and other topics. Course material will be offered in modular form to allow flexible adoption of offerings and customization of courses to meet individual institutional and faculty needs. Accessible only by faculty members at Virginia public high schools and colleges, the repository will be indexed and searchable and will contain course content such as syllabi, lesson plans, presentation slides, and representative homework exercises and exams.

Community of Purpose

Another goal of the Virginia Cyber Range is to build a cybersecurity education community among Virginia institutions, faculty, and others. The Virginia Cyber Range will convene workshops to “teach the teachers” and improve cybersecurity education at consortium institutions and to develop a shared understanding of future needs for cybersecurity education and gaps. Visit this page regularly for announcements of upcoming events.

Example Cybersecurity Topics

  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Secure Network Configuration
  • Network Defense
  • Digital and Network Forensics
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Cryptography
  • Incident Response
  • Penetration Testing
  • Security Data Analytics
  • Mobile Devices and IoT
  • SCADA and Industrial Control Systems
  • Cyber Law and Policy
State-wide resource

The cyber range is led by representatives from academic institutions across the Commonwealth and will support academia, government, and industry.

Initial focus is on cybersecurity education

The cyber range will allow schools to leverage each other’s course content and lab exercises, and will provide an environment to run exercises so schools don’t have to purchase their own network infrastructure.

Fully cloud-based

Unlike other cyber range offerings, the Virginia Cyber Range will exist completely in the cloud and will be available to anyone in the Commonwealth with an Internet connection.

Support for physical system research

The Virginia Cyber Range will virtualize Internet of Things devices, Industry Control System (ICS) networks, and other cyber physical systems so students can experiment to understand risks and defenses of these critical systems.