Two new Michigan Cyber Range hubs at NMU, UM-Flint

DETROIT – Two new cyber hubs in Marquette and Flint will be opening as part of the Michigan Cyber Range Network, Governor Rick Snyder announced today at the 2018 North American Cyber Summit in Detroit.

The hubs at Northern Michigan University and at the University of Michigan-Flint are planned to open in partnership with Merit Network Inc. and the Michigan Defense Center in the next six months, and will help expand the cyber ecosystem to the Upper Peninsula and Genesee County.

“This next installment in the Michigan Cyber Range continues the development of a robust statewide cybersecurity community,” Snyder said. “These regional cyber hubs position Michigan to be a leader in driving the next generation of cybersecurity protections and training a workforce able to support cybers initiatives across many industries.”

Steve VandenAvond, program manager and NMU vice president for extended learning and community engagement, noted that “there are more than 300,000 unfilled cybersecurity-related jobs nationwide and 7,000 in Michigan. NMU is eager to lead the U.P. effort to close the talent gap in collaboration with education and industry partners. Our hub will offer accelerated paths to careers in the industry, augment NMU’s existing cyber defense academic program, and provide training and certification for professionals. The portability of cybersecurity careers makes them an ideal fit for individuals who want to be gainfully employed while enjoying the U.P.’s highly desirable lifestyle and geography.”

Added UM-Flint Chancellor Susan E. Borrego: “The University of Michigan-Flint recently added several emerging areas of study and training to our campus and serving as a hub for the Michigan Cyber Network adds to that momentum.”

Cyber Range Hubs operate as a physical extension of the Michigan Cyber Range, the nation’s largest unclassified cyber range for cybersecurity training. The hubs offer industry-recognized certifications, exercises and workshops aimed at qualifying individuals for positions and contracts in cybersecurity fields.

As a state-run test program that hones security software and cyber defense skills, the Michigan Cyber Range offers cyber exercises, product testing, digital forensics, and more than 40 professional certifications based on the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework.

“The Cyber Range Hubs at Northern Michigan University and University of Michigan Flint will give students and the community access to world class, hands-on cybersecurity education,” said Joe Adams, Merit’s vice president for research and cyber security. “Cyber Range Hubs serve as a magnet site for the cybersecurity ecosystem. These partnerships are a great opportunity for Michigan, and I’m sure once open, will have an immediate positive impact on students and the area’s workforce.”

Since 2015, the Michigan Defense Center, an initiative of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., has provided funding for cyber ranges in Battle Creek, the Macomb Oakland University Incubator in Sterling Heights, Pinckney Community High School, Wayne State University, the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology in Grand Rapids, and at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren.

“Michigan is focused on creating innovative solutions to prevent and respond to cyber threats, including building a holistic ‘cyber ecosystem’ in which both the public and private sectors work collaboratively,” said Sarah Tennant, strategic advisory in cyber initiatives at the MEDC. “These new hubs will continue the development of a robust cybersecurity community focused on connecting the interests of the cyber, automotive, defense and aerospace industries.”

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