Providing training opportunities to students & professionals

The mission of the Maine Cyber Range (MCR) is to provide an immersive training and simulation center that takes cyber education and workforce development to the next level. The MCR provides students and professionals with market-leading, commercially licensed security products to help them build their skills on how to best detect, respond, and prevent cyber incidents; Skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace.

Enhance UMA’s Academic Cybersecurity Program

An immersive hands-on experience is essential to effective learning and knowledge retention, and the Maine Cyber Range has embraced that approach. Students are provided innovative technology and a curriculum designed to meet the growing demands in the field of cybersecurity, giving them an experience that resembles the ones they will encounter during their professional career.

Address Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

According to CyberSeek (August 2022), there are over a 1000 cybersecurity job openings in Maine, and over 700,000 across the United States. Using the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity, the MCR prepares students to enter the workforce with the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities; helping to close the talent gaps that exist across the country.

Provide Cyber Support to Businesses and Organizations

The Maine Cyber Range has become a cybersecurity education hub for training, readiness, and assessment. We can help prepare a team to use their technical skills to detect, respond to, and remediate cyber attacks; provide preparedness drills to help test a team’s readiness to respond to cyber attacks and evaluate how well the team members work together; and provide a cyber assessment to help evaluate an organization’s cyber resilience. The MCR can also be used as a hiring tool in assessing an applicant’s technical skills and qualifications.

Cyberbit Range

The Cyberbit Range is more than a simulation platform. This cyber range is the only fully-fledged cyber training environment that uniquely combines advanced simulation technology, comprehensive instruction toolsets, and content packages that address various training needs and attack scenarios. Key elements include:

  • Virtualized network that mimics all the complexities of a real network
  • Attack generator that executes attack scenarios and inserts malware into the network
  • Attack scenarios, ranging from basic entry-level and individual skill building exercises, to advanced and team-based exercises
  • Traffic generator that mimics the benign traffic and ‘noise’ of a normal enterprise network
  • Security tools, including SIEMs, firewalls, network analysis, and endpoint security tools needed to detect, investigate and respond to cyber-attacks
  • Instructor tools, include debriefing, session recording and playback, trainee evaluation, and real-time session control, such as triggering attacks or modifying their level of difficulty

The Cyberbit platform provides a full-scale cyber range, delivering a virtual security operation center (SOC) experience. Students train with live cyberattacks on the cyber range, taking their experience, skillset, and teamwork to the next level.

NDG NetLab+

NDG NetLab+ virtual machine environments are technical labs that trainees use to gain hands-on skills and proficiency. NetLab+ is a remote access solution that lets students complete labs anywhere, and anytime. Our lab environments include:

  • CySA+ Training
  • CCNA Cyber Ops Training
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Forensics
  • Security+ (used to validate baseline skills to perform core security functions)
  • NISGTC Linux+ Series
  • Palo Alto Networks Firewall 9 Essentials
  • Red Hat System Administration

Cyber Forensics

UMA is leading the way to establish a Cyber Forensics program that fully encompasses the need for students to acquire industry certifications. Our custom forensics lab environments utilize different tools used by law enforcement, military and the government to carry out investigations. Our forensic software includes:

  • AccessData Forensic Toolkit (FTK) is software that enables you to scan a hard drive looking for various information; for decrypting files & cracking passwords, to locate-manage-filter mobile data, to collect-process-analyze datasets, full-disk forensic images and virtualization technology.
  • Magnet AXIOM Forensics is software that remotely collects data, enabling you to recover, analyze, and report on digital evidence; for mobile, computer and cloud.
  • Paraben E3 Forensics is electronic evidence examination software that enables you to process digital data of all types of digital evidence; for computer, smartphone, and cloud forensics, email investigations, and window artifacts.

Educational Partners

Our educational partnerships include:

  • Cisco Networking Academy
  • CompTIA
  • EC-Council
  • Palo Alto Cybersecurity Academy
  • Red Hat Academy
  • Splunk
  • TestOut
  • VMWare IT Academy

UMA’s Maine Cyber Range was awarded student research funding by the University of Maine System (UMS) Maine Economic Improvement Funds (MEIF) Small Campus Initiative and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) under the State Homeland Security Grant Program, for the purpose of working with industries & local/state government agencies to model their network and to create custom scenarios that are matched to their industry and their particular needs, and then provide training to those industries within the MCR. This student research project aligns with the State of Maine Economic Development Strategy, as well as Maine’s State Homeland Security Strategy.

These funds allowed the MCR to take the use of the Cyberbit Range platform in a new direction by adding on the Pro Tools package, which includes the Network Builder platform that allows us to develop custom and new network architectures, and build a dedicated cyber lab to test specific tools, processes, skill level and incident response methodologies. Then, the Scenario Builder platform allows us to create new threat scenarios, or enrich the out of the box threat scenarios, to be used for training exercises on the modeled network. Students also address the need for Cyber Assessments and Incident Response Planning.

We have the opportunity to boost relations with Maine organizations, fostering industry and academic collaboration for cybersecurity research and development. UMA students and cyber practitioners would greatly benefit, and be more engaged, by the MCR’s ability to model an organization’s network architecture and build a dedicated cyber lab to test specific tools, processes, skill level and incident response methodologies.

Benefits to the University:
▪ Students gain hands-on experience through applied learning methods (versus theory-based learning), developing practical, tangible skills;
▪ Students gain critical soft skills, addressing competencies such as written & verbal communication, teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving;
▪ Students gain greater knowledge of computing and security concepts, such as incident handling, exploitation methods, network forensics, and secure systems design;
▪ Helps cyber programs align with current and future industry needs, such as the crucial need for secure system design, tool development, and penetration testing;
▪ Aligns with Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD), focusing on reducing vulnerabilities in our national information infrastructure.

Benefits to Maine Industry:
▪ Connect and collaborate across the University of Maine System;
▪ Develop opportunities for job creation, and recruit & retain a world-class talent pool to meet growing demands;
▪ Assist Maine businesses that need training and expertise to compete in an increasingly digital world, and to ensure the security of critical infrastructure and systems;
▪ Organizations are able to contribute to training the next generation cybersecurity workforce, and contribute to the refinement of cyber curriculum;
▪ Organizations are able to share insight, combining respective expertise, techniques, and capabilities; leveraging the unique strengths of both students and industry;
▪ Valuable opportunity to test defenses and sharpen response; and ability to conduct both offensive and defensive drills;
▪ Organizations are able to underpin advances in cyber defense research; with opportunity to research emerging threats, trends and defense based on the collected data;
▪ Cost-effective solution to augment and amplify cyber defense.

For more information, please email us at MCR@maine.edu