IBM opens a cyber sandbox for civilian companies

IBM Cyber Security X-Force Command Center Cambridge, MA (John Mottern/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

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IBM says it has opened a cyber range for civilian companies — a simulated and isolated mini-internet where attacks can be played out harmlessly to exercise defenders.

In a statement, the company said the range — in a new $200 million bricks-and-mortar facility in Cambridge, Mass — offers an immersive experience of simulated cyber attacks for training purposes.

The air-gapped network of a fictitious corporation, with web servers, supply chain applications, email and internet access for 3,000 simulated users, can be subject to all kinds of fictitious attacks, and the executives of customer companies and their teams — up to 36 at a time — have to respond as they would in real life.

It’s also a showcase for Big Blue’s new “X-Force” incident response team.

IBM says it’s the “first physical cyber range for the commercial sector,” but it’s not clear if that’s accurate.

Defense giant Raytheon, for instance, has a cyber range and markets to the civilian sector.

Regardless, the government is encouraging the development of cyber ranges.

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