ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — Members of the West Michigan Cyber Security Consortium will participate in a cybersecurity demonstration on the Michigan Cyber Range on July 24.

Simulating a real-life cyber incident response, the training exercise will challenge participants to detect and thwart cyber attacks on critical information systems.

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The demonstration will take place in two Michigan cities, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, using the infrastructure of Merit Network and the Michigan Cyber Range.

WMCSC members at Grand Valley State University’s DeVos Center will act as the Blue Team and will be responsible for defending information systems from cyber attacks. The staff of the Michigan Cyber Range at Merit Network in Ann Arbor will act as the Red Team, the aggressors conducting the cyber attacks.

During the practice exercise, the Blue Team will defend the simulated information systems of a public library, a small company, and a town hall of a mock community called Alphaville. Each virtual location represents a different level of security, from the low security of a public library’s web site to the medium security of a town hall’s internal and external systems.

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Blue team members will be challenged to secure and defend email servers, web servers, and file systems from waves of cyber attacks created by the Red Team.

“We’re really excited to create and conduct this event for WMCSC,” said Joe Adams, vice president of research and cyber security at Merit Network. “It has been a great creative opportunity to put the scenario together. I’m looking forward to seeing the how the blue team handles the challenges. I’m sure it will be a great learning experience for everyone.”

The training exercise will enable WMCSC members to test their skills and teamwork in real-life situations. At the conclusion, WMCSC members will have an after-action review to discuss what went well and what didn’t during the hands-on exercise.

“We have been looking forward to this event since the Cyber Range was announced last Fall,” said Barbara Hiemstra, co-chairperson for WMCSC and the deputy director of technology for Kent County. “It will be a great opportunity for the Blue team and the WMCSC members to walk through a real-time hack; then apply incident response techniques to combat these attacks.”

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The Michigan Cyber Range enables individuals and companies to practice their cybersecurity skills through scheduled exercises on the range and through certification training courses. Organizations can utilize the staff of the Michigan Cyber Range for the custom training exercises, or they may rent the range for private training, using the Merit Secure Sandbox. Organizations that are interested in having their cybersecurity team train in team exercises with the Michigan Cyber Range’s red team can contact to schedule a time. For more details, visit the Michigan Cyber Range web site at: