SUNY’s new cyber range trains students in cybersecurity – Spectrum News

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More than 340 million people were impacted by the nearly 2,400 cyberattacks that occurred across the country last year. That’s about 72% more than the number recorded in 2021 by the Identity Theft Resource Center.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says some of those cyberattacks cost New Yorkers about $777 million last year. With those alarming trends in mind, SUNY Fulton-Montgomery Community College (FMCC) wants to become the latest training ground of cybersecurity experts with a new state-of-the-art facility. It’s called Cyber Range, and it’s the first of its kind in New York.  

“There are universities all over this country that don’t have anything like this,” said FMCC student Perry Mitchell.  

Another student, Jake McGann, added, “It actually has a webpage, someone actually has hacked that webpage, and we have to discover and dig through, find hints and clues of where it’s coming from.”  

It’s all based on current events and immersive.  

“We’ll change the lighting. We’ll change the sound. We’ll change the graphics. And we’ll change the scenario,” FMCC Technology Division chair Martin Waffle. “They’re going to feel and live the experience.”  

Waffle is one of the first students to have that opportunity. He says computers have always been a part of his life.  

“I wanted to be a crime-scene analyst and when that fell through, I thought to myself, ‘you know what your interest, your passion is, computers. So why not further that,’” he said.  

And it’s a career path that is sure to present lots of opportunities with more than four million jobs available around the world. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that gap to grow by about 32% over the next decade.  

“That’s what’s driving the median salary up,” Waffle explained. “In 2023, the median salary was just over $120,000.”  

While the demand is great, employers are looking for specific prospects.  

“They want students who’ve had that hands-on experience, as opposed to just the theoretical background,” said FMCC President Greg Truckenmiller. “Having these simulation and laboratories available to students is critical.”  

It’s a resource SUNY hopes attracts even more people to an industry looking for help.  

“Even if you think it’s something you can’t do, once you get in this room and you start working and start seeing the people around you, there is no better place to do it,” Mitchell said.  

There are big players collaborating with FMCC to bring all this together, such as IBM and Amazon Web Services, which will serve as another great connection for these students to have before they start out professionally.

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