Sterling Heights Hub to Offer Cyber Defense Platform for Businesses


The Michigan Cyber Range, a program offering businesses a security software testing platform and courses to train against cyber attacks, will launch next month in Sterling Heights, with plans to open three or more hubs in Michigan by the end of the year.

“The cyber range is a virtual element that provides a secure unclassified connection where penetration testing and other types of attack and defense activities that can occur within a secured network to either train and grow professionals wanting to be in the cyber security realm,” says Jennifer Tisdale, manager of cyber security and intelligent transportation systems for the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Tisdale says the center, to be located within the business incubator Velocity Collaboration Center, represents a collaboration between the Ann Arbor-based nonprofit Merit Network, Oakland University, Macomb County, the Macomb-OU Incubator, the New Economy Initiative, and the MEDC.

“(The Sterling Heights hub is) concentrated on cyber auto defense and advanced manufacturing,” Tisdale says.

She says the hub will offer training space, along with being a host for live exercises to simulate data hacks and tests for defensive responses for businesses or run those same attack/defend exercises against their IT networks or the software that they’re developing.

Tisdale says as the state of Michigan works become a hub for connected car technologies, there’s a vulnerability associated with that industry. She says the Michigan Cyber Range will offer a way to test and validate the security of a certain technology prior to integration.

Gov. Rick Snyder proposed his cyber security mission for the state of Michigan in 2011 that included a vision to provide support and services to Michigan-based businesses and residents either looking to have a job in the cyber security field or to grow and develop their businesses within cyber security field.

Tisdale says an RFP process is being put in place for the three to four additional cyber security hubs.

“I would like to see others that concentrate on aerospace, avionics, maritime concerns, health care in terms of telehealth technology, any type of mobile computing, and then really all things mobility,” Tisdale says. “There is truly an opportunity for additional sites that have forward thinking ideas about how they want to embrace cyber security…”

The Michigan Cyber Range within Velocity opens on March 18.​