Joint Cyber Range NL: facility for cybersecurity education and research
In the autumn of 2020, we launched a pilot for sharing technical cybersecurity education: the Joint Cyber Range NL. Lecturer-researchers from Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and The Hague University of Applied Sciences have developed a draft cyber range. The cyber range will be temporarily hosted by SURFnet and applied during the pilot in ICT education by the two initiators. Lecturers and students have been working, among other things, on designing CTFs (capture the flag competitions) and attack/defence games. The cyber range pilot was also used in a national competition for high school students.
About the cyber range: a virtual training environment for cybersecurity specialists
The cyber range is a virtual environment where people can learn practical offensive and defensive cybersecurity skills. Cybersecurity specialists in the business world practice essential cybersecurity skills in realistic scenarios, to learn how to recognise vulnerabilities in their network systems. Governments and educational institutions abroad also work with a cyber range. The virtual environment in which cybersecurity specialists practise their professional skills can be adapted to a company's specific needs. This flexibility is essential because digital developments, and therefore digital threats, are rapidly changing. Many primary processes of companies and government institutions depend heavily on digital networks and the impact of a cyber attack is potentially enormous. The professional field is therefore in dire need of professionals who have mastered cybersecurity skills and know how to apply new developments and knowledge in practice.
Joining forces in a national platform for higher education: Joint Cyber Range NL
The Netherlands doesn't yet have a national platform for higher education in the field of cybersecurity. Cyber and cloud security skills are mainly learned within one's own institution. Of course, every ICT educational institution has the in-house expertise, but new knowledge in the field of cybersecurity and cyber resilience could be shared more. In addition, maintaining a locally hosted cyber range is very labour intensive.
The Joint Cyber Range NL initiative combines efforts. Each participating ICT educational institution contributes with their capacity and specific knowledge, allowing cybersecurity education in the Netherlands to remain up-to-date and to be raised to a high level. The starting point is a national platform for and by universities of applied sciences.
The Joint Cyber Range NL is working towards a national facility in which different sub-environments (virtual neighbourhoods) are built, which can be shared according to the needs of the degree programmes. The set-up is a cloud facility that offers a cyber range as a service.
So far, the Windesheim, Hanze, Fontys and Saxion universities of applied sciences have shown interest in joining the Joint Cyber Range NL.
For more information and an overview of JCR NL projects, go to: www.jointcyberrange.nl
View the Infographic Joint Cyber Range (pdf)
Contact: Daniel Meinsma firstname.lastname@example.org and Peter van Eijk email@example.com
In his role as one of the initiators of the Joint Cyber Range Netherlands, lecturer-researcher Daniel Meinsma spoke for his podcast TechnicalSecurity101 with several colleagues from the field, looking for the basic knowledge and skills that students and high school students need to get a successful start in the field of technical information security/ cybersecurity.
Joint Cyber Range Arcade
As of July 2022, the arcade for budding cyber talent is open! Participate now in the Joint Cyber Range Arcade and improve your cyber skills! There will be new puzzles with a fun theme every month to keep your skills sharp. Visit this initiative of the #Jointcyberrange. For questions or more information, please contact Daniel Meinsma at firstname.lastname@example.org.