Virtual training

The 5 Best Cyber Range Training Solutions in 2024

The CloudShare Team

May 15, 2024 - 3 min read

There are few industries where ‘learn by doing’ is quite as important as cybersecurity. When you’re faced with the prospect of a ransomware-infested network or an ongoing data breach, knowledge from textbooks and slide decks will only get you so far. You need an opportunity to put those skills to the test under pressure.

You need a cyber range.

Originally developed by (and for) the public sector, cyber ranges are simulated IT environments that can be used for cyber resilience training, cybersecurity training, and sandboxed software development. They typically consist of a learning management system with an integrated virtual lab, with most modern cyber ranges having enough sophistication to virtualize entire ecosystems.

The Benefits of Using a Virtual Cyber Range

The most significant advantage of virtual cyber range solutions is that they give security teams the opportunity to simulate real-world cyber threats without putting any of their organization’s actual systems at risk. This allows them to gain firsthand experience with how prevailing threats, techniques, and procedures might impact their ecosystem. Other benefits of cyber range training include:

  • Considerably more cost-effective than physical IT labs and with a greater capacity to scale.
  • Support for continuous learning and skill development.
  • The capacity to provide real-time feedback to participants as they continue to learn.
  • An easily accessible sandbox that supports continuous learning and development.
  • Flexible and simple to maintain and keep up-to-date.
  • Easy to configure and deploy.

Top Cyber Range Solutions to Consider

Below, we’ve listed a few of the top cyber range providers for various industries and needs — including our own powerful virtual labs.

CloudShare

If you’re looking for an affordable and intuitive cloud-based virtual training lab, look no further than CloudShare. The platform lets you spin up sophisticated, fully customized virtual environments in minutes for everything from simulated attack scenarios to hands-on training sessions. It’s an excellent replacement for costly on-premise cybersecurity labs and an excellent option for any business that already has access to security expertise.

Infosec Skills

Maintained by the Infosec Institute, Infosec Skills is less a dedicated cyber range than it is a vast collection of training courses and scenarios. The organization offers hundreds of hands-on labs and learning paths mapped to industry standards, with more added each month. The Infosec Skills on-demand library also includes certification courses for several leading cybersecurity standards.

Accenture Security Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Cyber Range

Accenture’s ICS Cyber Range is slightly more specialized than the other entries on the list, focused more on helping cybersecurity professionals in sectors such as oil & gas improve their cyber resilience and security practices. The range has the capacity to simulate a wide range of industrial control systems. This makes it ideal not just as a security lab but also as a testbed for potential changes to ICS infrastructure.

IBM X-Force Command Cyber Tactical Operations Center (C-TOC)

Hosted and maintained by IBM, the X-Force Command Cyber Tactical Operations Center (or C-TOC for short) originally branded itself as the first cyber experience-on-wheels, an extension of the company’s renowned X-Force Command Cyber Range. Today, it operates in more of a cyber-range-as-a-service capacity, albeit one supported by some of the best cybersecurity experts in the world.

Cloud Range

Cloud Range provides a comprehensive, fully customizable cloud-based security training environment with thousands of pre-built attack scenarios, a ton of fully integrated toolsets, and customized learning paths. Originally marketed primarily toward advanced security teams, the platform now provides both full-service and self-service options. The company’s services are primarily geared toward enterprise security teams, managed security service providers and security professionals working in higher education or with critical infrastructure.

Staying Ahead of Emerging Threats

To call the current threat landscape intimidating would be putting it lightly. Malicious actors are both more numerous and more sophisticated than they’ve ever been, and it often feels like every day brings new problems and risks. Keeping pace with this fast-evolving landscape requires a comprehensive training program — one that’s flexible, versatile, and easy to keep up-to-date.

More importantly, they require the ability to provide cybersecurity professionals and employees alike with hands-on experience. After all, there’s only so much you can learn in a classroom. To truly understand how to stop modern cyber threats, you need to experience them.

Virtual cyber ranges allow your people to do exactly that at no risk to your existing infrastructure. Better yet, they equip your team with a sandboxed environment where they can readily test everything from new solutions to vulnerabilities in existing software. Whether you need to stress-test your incident response plan, improve collaboration for your security team, or onboard new security professionals, a cyber range is the way to go.

Wondering what to read neck? Check out why Cybersecurity Simulation Software is Crucial for Protecting Your Business, then learn more about the basics of Cyber Resilience.