WEST LAFAYETTE - Cybersecurity professionals are facing a constant barrage of malware threats and other cyber-attacks from around the globe. To help teach how to fend off those encroachments against a variety of industries, Purdue University has partnered with Cyberbit, an Israel-based tech company, to launch a training simulator from the West Lafayette campus.

The Cyberbit Range provides a realistic environment for IT professionals on how to respond to attacks.

“Given Purdue's reputation as having the top cybersecurity research and education programs in the world, we’re excited to deepen our partnership and forge an expansive, first-of-its-kind collaboration,” said Adi Dar, CEO of Cyberbit.

Cyberbit Range is a software platform that creates a virtual model of a company's IT network architecture, allowing cybersecurity experts from manufacturing companies to test their skills against an attack of the network they already know.

Purdue also wants non-security personnel, such as design and mechanical engineers, to understand how these attacks occur so they can proactively build safeguards into their products and systems.

"We will work with Purdue to help ensure its industry partners are learning, retaining what they learn and building the reflexes needed to remain prepared in the highly dynamic world of cybersecurity," said Dar.

Purdue says there is no shortage of the number of available cybersecurity jobs in Indiana, but there is a shortage of qualified workers.

"The demand for experienced professionals with the mindset needed to integrate cybersecurity throughout the product design process and to respond to cyberattacks far exceeds the supply. Cyberbit’s expertise in simulated cybersecurity lab environments makes it a uniquely qualified partner to help us bridge this gap," said Dan Hirleman, chief officer for corporate and global partnerships and professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue.

Hirleman says initially the simulator will be used by industry partners, but the university plans are to expand into research efforts and undergrad student learning.

Purdue says the system will allow for remote learning, but the default training will be on campus for the in-person experience because it will have a dedicated facility with support from cybersecurity trained faculty.

Cyberbit was spun out of Israeli defense technology company Elbit Systems to develop and bring to market a suite of cutting-edge cyberdefense technologies. Purdue says the company is the world’s leading provider of cyber ranges for simulated cybersecurity training.