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As we excitedly countdown to Liberty Communication’s 25th birthday – it’s Silver Jubilee if you will – we’re taking time to examine and reminisce on the last 25 years of technological advancements around the globe. But what makes a product so revolutionary? Filling a gap in the market? Improving our daily lives? Breaking into new territory? Being just plain awesome? 

The last 25 years of technology have produced gadgets and gizmos that have changed the world and have continued to redefine what we know is possible. As we continue to break new technological ground and engrain today’s technologies even further into our homes, businesses, and lives, it’s extremely important to keep ‘safety’ top-of-mind. For that reason, I’m delighted to spotlight cyber ranges (and cybersecurity) and the imperative role they have – and will continue to have – in society today. 

What is a cyber range and why do we need it? 

As we open the door to new technology, we also open the door to cyber attacks, ransomware, phishing, state-sponsored attacks, and the like. By the end of 2022, we saw a 38% increase in global cyber attacks – with the UK seeing a 77% increase. 

Utilised by governments, enterprises, and educational institutions around the world, cyber ranges create sophisticated virtual environments that mimic IT systems. An integral component of a wider cyber strategy, IT teams launch ‘practice’ attacks and respond in real-time.

By partaking in these realistic exercises, users learn to cope under stress and locate and exploit vulnerabilities within network systems, which in turn helps them develop the skills they need to identify, monitor, report and resist growing cyber-attacks. These intensive exercises also take the form of Capture-The-Flag (CTFs) – creating an engaging way for kiddos to learn about cyber with a ‘gamified’ yet practical way of learning cybersecurity.

Cyber ranges provide a wide range of potential (cyber-pun intended). They empower organisations and people to better protect themselves in a world filled with growing cyber threats. A relatively new innovation, the potential cyber ranges have to further society’s technological safety and advancement is unlimited. 

Cyber ranges are also essential for supporting assets in digital transformation processes as it builds up virtualised environments, test systems, and assist in increasing our understanding of how different technologies integrate.

Besides training and testing, cyber ranges are also used to establish proof of concept with new technologies, systems, and integration projects. Cyber ranges are powerful tools – the largest deployed training environments consist of up to 5000 virtual machines including business IT and Operational Technology components, making the potential use for cyber ranges endless.

As we continue to invite new technological advancements into our lives, we also need to arm ourselves with the right technologies and accompanying skill sets to create a technologically safe and cyber-resilient society. Cyber ranges are the key for humans to continue to safely evolve with a rapidly changing technology landscape. 

Erin Clark

Erin is a Senior Account Executive at Liberty Communications

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