ANN ARBOR — Merit Network Inc. and the state of Michigan will cut the ribbon on the new Michigan Cyber Range Friday.

Gov. Rick Snyder, State CIO John Nixon, Merit Network president and CEO Donald Welch and Carlos Kizzee, acting director of critical infrastructure at the federal Department of Homeland Security, are scheduled to participate.

The Michigan Cyber Range is the IT equivalent of a shooting range for police. It is intended to prepare cybersecurity professionals for detecting, preventing, and thwarting cyber-attacks in a real-world setting.

The “live fire” environment is a logically isolated system that uses Merit’s extensive research and education network.

The first site where cyber range physical assets will be housed is Eastern Michigan University, with additional sites planned for Ferris State University in Big Rapids and the 110th Airlift Wing in Battle Creek. Expansion plans include up to 10 sites.

With more than 4,000 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure and direct connections to research and academic institutions nationwide, Merit’s network offers ample opportunities for collaboration.

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