July 9, 2013 By Colin Wood
One way or another, cyber-ranges are coming.
Brig. Gen. Michael Stone of the Michigan National Guard said that the federal government has wanted a nationwide network of unclassified cyberexercise facilities for years, but he’s bringing the idea to state and local government -- starting with his home state of Michigan. If the state receives funding for this purpose, he says the first hub of the network should be ready by Oct. 1.
The network of facilities would allow IT professionals without security clearance to practice for cyberattacks in multi-state and multi-stakeholder efforts. Such facilities are uncommon today, he said, and unclassified interstate efforts don’t exist.
Congress succeeded with this goal to an extent, but it missed a crucial part of the idea, Stone said. The National Science Foundation, which teamed with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on the project, was allocated $110 million to create cyber-ranges. While it did create cyber-ranges, those ranges are not accessible to those without security clearance.
“They did some wonderful work for the country, but they did it all in the top secret domain,” Stone said, adding that this was unfortunate for a few reasons.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.