ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — Merit Network Inc. and the Michigan Cyber Range Thursday announced the new Merit Secure Sandbox service, a virtual environment that enables organizations and users to practice, train, and test cybersecurity techniques.

The Merit Secure Sandbox is designed to be an educational space, where instructors can set up their own virtual environments for cybersecurity training. It is also the ideal solution for organizations that want to test applications, web sites, or virtualized environments in a secure location that is not connected to the Internet and their own computer networks.

“Merit Secure Sandbox is an innovative way to provide education, training, and testing infrastructure to people in Michigan and around the world,” said William “Joe” Adams, vice president of research and cyber security at Merit Network.

Supported by the staff of the Michigan Cyber Range, Merit Secure Sandbox provides a securely partitioned space that can be made to simulate Windows or Linux computer environments. Users may build their secure sandbox from a catalog of ready-made virtual machines or supply their own virtual computer environment.

“I see organizations using Merit Secure Sandbox for integration testing, new product evaluation, cybersecurity courses, and training exercises,” Adams said. “It is a logically isolated, unclassified network environment, so users can be confident in knowing that what they build is partitioned from other users and applications.”

Merit Secure Sandbox allows organizations to utilize the same infrastructure used by the Michigan Cyber Range for training and cybersecurity exercises. The infrastructure can be used by organizations within Michigan or across the United States, providing a secure, adaptable resource for research, cybersecurity exercises, training, software/product testing, and other applications.

The service has already been used by three higher education schools in Michigan to create virtualized computer environments for use by students. It allows institutions to provide training and test resources within a secure environment that is separate from their own computer systems.

You can learn more about Merit Secure Sandbox online at

Later this year, Merit Network and the Michigan Cyber Range are planning to offer a similar service to individuals who are interested in testing and practicing cybersecurity techniques in a secure environment. Called Personal LabSpace, individuals will be able to use Michigan Cyber Range’s resources for their own research and learning.

The Michigan Cyber Range prepares cybersecurity professionals to detect, prevent and thwart cyberattacks in a real-world setting. Like a test track or a firing range, the Michigan Cyber Range enables individuals and organizations to conduct “live fire” exercises: simulations that test the detection and reaction skills of participants in a variety of situations. The Michigan Cyber Range also offers certification courses for a number of cybersecurity disciplines, with instruction available OnSite and Live Online. A full training schedule may be found at the Merit Michigan Cyber Range web site:

The Michigan Cyber Range is hosted and facilitated by Merit Network in partnership with the State of Michigan and with the sponsorship of Consumers Energy, DTE Energy and Juniper Networks.


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