uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range to offer immersive cyber security response training

The University of Ottawa and IBM Canada have announced the opening of the new uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range.

The uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range is set to offer highly realistic cyber response training exercises to help businesses and government organisations better prepare for cyber threats. The training classes include how to plan, respond, manage, contain, and remediate cyber attacks.

The Cyber Range training will be integrated into undergraduate and graduate courses. Private and public sector professionals will also be offered microprogrammes and microcredentials, including industry certifications.

Interdisciplinary research and collaboration will be facilitated by the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range by bringing together some of the university’s top experts.

Why is the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range important?

According to IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report, Canadian companies are paying nearly $7m in data breach costs on average. This is the third highest in the world.

One of the most effective ways to reduce breach costs is through incident response training – such as that to be delivered through the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range.

The report states that globally, organisations saved around $1.49m in breach costs when they had a trained incident response team and regularly tested plans.

Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Ottawa, said: “Globally cyberattacks are on the rise. The new uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range will help the university enrich its curriculum and train cyber security experts with the skills and knowledge to debunk serious security breaches.

“Our partnership with IBM Canada will also help fund innovative research in cyber safety, which will help keep governments, organisations and Canadians one step ahead of cyber threats.”

The new Cyber Range is a result of a multi-year partnership

Announced in 2021, the multi-year partnership between IBM and the University of Ottawa aims to develop a more resilient cyber landscape in Canada.

IBM pledged more than $21m contributions to the university over five years to support the development and operation of the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range. Over the same period, uOttawa has committed to invest nearly $7m.

Dave McCann, President of IBM Canada, said: “This partnership between IBM and the University of Ottawa is a momentous step forward in empowering organisations with the essential skills they need to defend and respond effectively to cyber attacks.”

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This is the third IBM Cyber Range in the world, and IBM Canada’s first university-based range. The other two Cyber Ranges are located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Bangalore, India.

Increasing cyber preparedness

The uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range is designed to build a strong security culture by guiding everyone from legal and risk, to the C-Suite and SOC leaders through a real-world cyber incident.

Organisations will be able to participate in scalable and customisable cyber response training exercises that can be tailored to specific security objectives.

Participants can uncover gaps by testing response plans, and learn best practises based on real case studies.

The partnership between IBM and the University of Ottawa will help create the next generation of experts by attracting a diverse talent pool, engaging with young people, and uniting the cyber community.

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