Cyber Range Federations: State of play, connectivity considerations and user awareness
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As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and linkages between computer systems rise at an exponential rate, so rise at an equally exponential rate the threats associated with a perpetually connected world. The best way to protect oneself from the devastating consequences of a cyberattack and its possible spillover effects, is for end users to develop a capacity for detecting, identifying and countering cyber-attacks. This skill set is best honed in a sandbox environment where threats and their payloads can be emulated with accuracy, but without their destructive consequences: these environments are known as Cyber ranges. This postgraduate dissertation will look into the current literature regarding cyber ranges and their federations, or the interconnection of two or more cyber ranges. Federated cyber ranges allow users to train on scenarios and threats that would not normally fall within the scope of their particular sector’s exposure and thus would not normally be offered by their “home” cyber range. They also allow the pooling of resources, thereby enabling more elaborate tests to be simulated in more realistic environments. We will examine different interconnection options and undertake tests regarding connectivity performance. We will also present the results of survey research undertaken to assess end user awareness into cyber security in general, familiarity with best practices and exposure to cyber ranges and their federations.