In today’s globally connected cyber world, data breaches are no longer a threat. They’re a promise.
On Tuesday, October 3, Regent University took a cutting-edge leap into training students to secure those breaches as it launched its Cyber Range training center in partnership with Cyberbit Ltd., the leading provider of cybersecurity products enabling detection, response and training across IT and Operational Technology (OT) systems.
The world-class facility will provide hands-on cybersecurity training and simulation platforms with real-time attack scenarios and security breaches for Regent students seeking to fill the projected 6 million job openings in the cybersecurity field by 2019.
The Cyber Range will also serve as a training center for local businesses, government and military organizations, and features customizable capabilities to meet every industry’s data protection needs.
“This facility is going to be available to train military leaders, business leaders and especially the students of Regent University in cutting-edge technology,” said Regent Founder, Chancellor and CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson to guests attending the Cyber Range’s ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony. “We want to be leaders, and Regent University has been a leader. And I hope that those of you here in the Virginia Beach community realize how important this Cyber Range is going to be.”
Robertson estimated 1 trillion dollars-worth of damage done by cybercriminals hacking into corporations. He explained that the Cyber Range will give real-world experience to executive and students alike on how to handle cyberattacks.
And according to Cyberbit CEO, Adi Dar, the most effective way to master a new skill is through simulation training.
“We are proud to partner with Regent University in their pioneering effort to advance the state of cybersecurity by developing a highly skilled workforce that can detect advanced threats and respond effectively to any kind of cyber incident across IT and OT networks,” said Dar. “There is no doubt in my mind that it has tremendous potential. I would like to congratulate the university on this special day and thank Dr. Robertson for the opportunity to be a part of this vision.”
United States Congressman for Virginia’s 2nd District Scott Taylor said cybersecurity training is “critical” and “urgent” for the region’s business, military and other government agencies.
“Imagine the world’s most widely-used cyber-training platform located right here in Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads,” said Taylor. “I’m proud of Regent’s investment. It’s going to be a tremendous value to Virginia Beach, to Virginia and to our nation.”
Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessoms said cybersecurity is a “key area” that will help create millions of jobs in the region, placing Virginia Beach at the forefront of a “proactive and aggressive approach” to support technologies essential to our ever-changing global economy.
“Virginia Beach is willing, ready and able, and so is Regent University,” said Sessoms. “Congratulations on today’s ribbon-cutting and thanks for all you do to make our communities smarter, sharper and stronger.”
The Honorable J. Randy Forbes, U.S. Representative, 4th District of Virginia (2001-2017), said that Regent stands on the “cutting edge” in its ability to prepare leaders for inevitable cyber danger.
“Standing on the cutting edge is nothing new for Regent University,” said Forbes. “But this is a quantum leap in how we prepare for cyber threats, because instead of being reactionary, we get to be strategic.”
Brigadier General Yaron Rosen of the Israel Defense Forces reminded attendees that though a technological revolution has occurred in the digital terrain, it still has the power to impact users on a physical and emotional level.
“It’s affecting the way we live, the way we think, and the way we operate and do business,” said Rosen.
And much like his early days of playing left-tackle in football, Rosen doesn’t enter the field without the proper gear. This, he explained, is how civilians should think about protecting and equipping themselves in the digital realm.
“We can’t go out without the equipment,” said Rosen.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Regent’s Office of Alumni Relations & Special Events hosted a luncheon event. Former United States Attorney General John Ashcroft said he’s honored as he completes his thirteenth year at Regent, sharing the privilege of preparing the next generation of Christian leaders.
“Here, no pursuit of truth – intellectual or spiritual – is off-limits, and the truth, and an understanding of it, is the greatest defense we can have,” said Ashcroft. “As a result, both Americans individually and America as a defender of global liberty, are stronger, and I’m grateful to have this opportunity and for your involvement and your support of this project.”
Continuing to lead the way in training cybersecurity experts, Regent University will host its inaugural Cyber Summit, featuring reformed hacker and security consultant to Fortune 500 companies and global governments, Kevin Mitnick, in February 2018.