UA, January 12, 2019: Ohio Cyber Range expands to UA OHIO — Officials from the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and The University of Akron (UA) announced a memorandum of understanding has been signed to expand the Ohio Cyber Range by funding a new Ohio Cyber Range core services site according to reports published in akron.com
Officials said the $1.18 million agreement will double the current capacity of the Ohio Cyber Range by adding servers, storage and programing at UA, which joins the range network that includes a demonstration site opened last May at the University of Cincinnati (UC).
“The University of Akron has a strong existing cybersecurity program and a commitment to helping all of Ohio improve cyber education,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Bartman, Ohio adjutant general. “This new site of the Ohio Cyber Range will bring range services closer to the residents of Northeast Ohio and provide access to new learning tools for cybersecurity. With the Ohio Cyber Range and other innovative initiatives, Ohio can be a model for the rest of the country in cybersecurity.”
“We are excited to host the second site of the Ohio Cyber Range at The University of Akron,” added Rex Ramsier, UA executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “These new resources, combined with our existing programs in cybersecurity, will allow us to grow the number of graduates, as well as assist us in reaching out to students in regional high schools as we strive to increase the number of students who are going into this important field.”
UA’s cybersecurity program offers a computer information systems cybersecurity degree option — the only cybersecurity track in the country that includes courses in cryptology (the study of computer codes), which are typically only offered at the graduate level, according to UA officiails.
Officials stated the Ohio Cyber Range is an initiative developed by the Ohio Cyber Collaboration Committee, a collaborative effort led by the Adjutant General’s Department of more than 200 people who represent public, private, military and educational organizations.
Its range of capabilities are: conducting cybersecurity exercises and competitions to improve emergency cyber incident response capabilities and to develop future cybersecurity professionals; researching and testing industry-standard best practices; facilitating the evaluation and testing of innovative technologies and processes; and enabling a training and educational environment for the current and future cybersecurity workforce, including National Guard personnel, state and local government personnel, faculty and students in the education community at both the collegiate and high school level and private sector entities.
Officials said the cyber range in the state is being implemented in stages to allow it to grow as Ohio’s cyber capabilities increase. Phase one provided hands-on learning for Ohio students at cyber capture-the-flag competitions at high schools and universities around the state. Phase two is the demonstration project that added a data center and training platform at UC that provides for enhanced training, testing and a hands-on experience for students. Phase three will continue the Ohio Cyber Range at UC, UA and future additional regional sites throughout the state. Funding for the third phase was part of the state’s capital budget for fiscal years 2019 and 2020.