Cybersecurity Education for Advanced Manufacturing Organizations

Keeping computers and information systems secure is a major challenge. Business, industry, and government need well-prepared technicians who can detect, investigate, and prevent cybersecurity breaches. The growth of cyber-threats has created a need for many more workers who have specific knowledge and skills to meet these workforce demands. The Ohio Cyber Range is a cloud-based, web-accessible environment where cybersecurity students, faculty, and incumbent workers can access educational materials and conduct lab exercises. It provides a virtual setting that simulates the information technology (IT) infrastructure found in a business workplace. Using this virtual cybersecurity training ground, students and faculty can explore real-world scenarios involving networks that would be expensive or impractical to set up in physical lab environments.

This project will develop eight to ten cybersecurity training scenarios that focus on specific cybersecurity situations within advanced manufacturing. These scenarios will be deployed on the Ohio Cyber Range, along with associated guides, to facilitate wide usage. The scenarios will also be incorporated into IT courses at Northwest State Community College. The scenarios, the learning objectives, and the related materials will be developed with the advice of engineers and IT professionals from local manufacturing companies. Students and incumbent workers who use the scenarios around the state will be better prepared to meet the cybersecurity needs of Ohio employers. The project will develop training scenarios focusing on topics ranging from basic (e.g., basic networking, subnetting, and enumerating a network) to advanced (e.g., attacking/defending Human Machine Interface [HMI] passwords, attacking/defending Programmable Logic Controller [PLC] register values). Each scenario will have a detailed document that describes the background, instructions, tasks, goals, and learning objectives for the learning exercise associated with the scenario. An independent subject matter expert will review each scenario to ensure that it meets the stated learning objectives and is aligned with national and industry standards. Faculty at Northwest State Community College will incorporate scenarios into several courses, including Networking Fundamentals, Security Auditing, and Programmable Logic Controllers. The project team will offer workshops to faculty from colleges in Ohio and surrounding states to help them effectively add the scenarios to their own courses.

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
August 1st, 2019
ATE Expiration Date
July 31st
ATE Principal Investigator
Tony Hills
Primary Institution
Northwest State Community College
Record Type
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