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The Macomb-Oakland University INCubator Launches a Comprehensive Cyber Security Initiative

By Joan Carleton | Macomb-Oakland University INCubator | 2/3/2016

As the state of Michigan strategically executes its Michigan Cyber Initiative, a new, unclassified hub of the Michigan Cyber Range (MCR), powered by Merit Network, has been developed at the Velocity Center, home of the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator (Mac-OU INC).

Mac-OU INC is managing this publicly-accessible MCR extension hub, the first of its kind connected to an incubator program targeted towards startup and emerging companies in the State of Michigan. This effort is in collaboration with the Merit Network, the Michigan Defense Center of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, the City of Sterling Heights and Oakland University.

Via Governor Snyder’s Michigan Cyber Initiative, Mac-OU INC’s goal is to educate the public and raise awareness on the ever-increasing importance of cyber security. Over the years, technology has become deeply engrained in everyday life, resulting in a world that is more interconnected than ever. This has dramatically increased the number of cyber-attacks and system intrusions, which resulted in sensitive personal and business information being released, financial loses, and disruptions of business operations. These attacks and intrusions have created a twofold problem, in that organizations need a way to test the security on products and services before launching them and a workforce is needed to help protect against cyber-attacks and intrusions. A cyber range is a facility with a unique internet connection that can be used for this testing and training.

How Can You Utilize the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range? 

Education: We hold certification courses for over 20 different cyber security disciplines. Mac-OU INC will host certificate education through the Merit Network. Each certification can be obtained through an approximate four to five day course including an exam. These programs will run through Oakland University’s Professional & Continuing Education and will earn participants continuing education units. As stated on the Merit website, “Each course prepares you for real-life situations and for the related certification test. When you successfully complete a course, you will be able to confidently take a certification exam on the final day of the course.”

Validation: We conduct security “best practice” checklist reviews and in-depth product validation penetration tests. In this Velocity Hub, small and large businesses alike will have the opportunity to conduct assessments and exercises on early-stage connected products. Similar to a shooting range for gun use and training, this secure sandbox environment is stocked with tools and targets to complete safety, performance and efficiency tests. 

Preparation: We lease virtual space within our secure sandbox environment stocked with hardware and software. Companies of all sizes need access to this isolated sandbox environment, which mimics a real-world setting, in order to test products or hold demonstrations. Our business model allows companies to rent virtual space within our sandbox environment

About the Michigan Cyber Range

The State of Michigan chose the Merit Network to begin operating this cyber security range and program. The project is a public-private collaboration that includes government, the National Guard, universities, community colleges, K-12 schools and private industry.

The MCR is a program that leverages the physical range to develop world-class cyber security professionals. There is a full program of meetings and workshops as well as tools to develop and promulgate best practices in cybersecurity training and cybersecurity itself. The range is used for individual as well as collective training. The staff are experts in the best and most current practices of cyber security training and are focused on meeting the specific needs of the people and organizations that use the range.

The MCR provides students and IT professionals with a solid foundation in cybersecurity through challenging hands-on coursework, exercises and labs. Courses are aligned with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE). The NICE framework organizes the skills that America’s cybersecurity workforce needs to meet the national preparedness goals of detecting, mitigating and defeating malicious actors. 

The Macomb-OU INCubator is located in the Velocity Center of Sterling Heights at 6633 18 Mile Road. More information on the Velocity Hub can be found at macouinc.org/cyber or by contacting Larry Herriman at (586) 884-9332 or via email at herriman@oakland.edu.

Joan Carleton, Marketing & Communications Manager for the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator, focuses her expertise on assisting Southeast Michigan’s high-tech entrepreneurial community. Contact her at jfcarlet@oakland.edu

Filed under: Cyber Range

 

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