A new cyber security project will allow companies to train staff to combat attacks like the one which saw NHS systems infected with malicious software last year.
The SOCLAB training infrastructure at Edinburgh Napier’s Cyber Academy will let workers get to grips with ransomware and other threats in a safe and isolated environment.
The Cyber Academy, based within the School of Computing, will launch the security operations centre on Friday March 2 in collaboration with IT security company Satisnet.
New data protection laws coming into effect in May mean companies will have to respond swiftly to an attack, and this type of environment will allow organisations to train their staff to cope with an incident.
The School of Computing has been collaborating with a series of companies, including RSA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and F5, to produce one of the most advanced cyber security training grounds in the world.
In recent years the School has developed a range of systems simulating real-life IT infrastructures, where students can learn about advanced methods such as malware analysis, penetration testing, cryptography and incident response in a safe environment.
Satisnet, who have built and run security operations centres, have played a key role in the development of the virtual security operations centre, which builds on earlier work at the university including EU-funded training to fight cyber crime.
Professor Bill Buchanan, who leads the Cyber Academy, said: “Our dream has always been to build training infrastructures which mimic the real-life IT environment in which we can run scenarios.
“The collaboration with Satisnet underlines that we aim to use the most advanced systems and tools possible, and to train people for a wide spectrum of roles in which they can identify threats and respond to them.”
Dr Sally Smith, dean of the School of Computing, said: “We have continued to invest in cyber security over the years, and have a thriving undergraduate and postgraduate provision.
“By investing in the creation of a physical environment for security operations, we aim to immerse students and practitioners in real-life scenarios then see how they cope with them.”
John McCann, director of Satisnet, said: “This is a perfect partnership. Edinburgh Napier are at the forefront of cyber security training and innovation, and my company have a mission to be the best at what we do in cyber training and security operations centres.