Fred Weiller
Senior Director, Solutions Marketing
Blog

Lessons from Conventional Warfare Can Prepare Cyber Warriors

October 20, 2017 by Fred Weiller

At a time when cyber attacks continue to ravage the digital world – ask Equifax1 about it – ESG published the Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations in Transition report2 for which 412 cybersecurity and IT professionals were asked about the size and skill set of their organization’s cybersecurity team. 54% of survey respondents said the skill level of their team is inappropriate for an organization of their size and 57% said the staff size is inappropriate. How are you going to develop the elite cyber warriors you need to protect your business and customers?

From Conventional Warfare To CyberWarfare

Just because warfare is moving to the cyber realm, it does not mean that lessons from real battlegrounds have lost their relevance and significance. The main rule from Sun Tzu’s Art Of War still very much applies: if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.

To know the enemy’s warcraft, aspiring cyber warriors can leverage the knowledge of Ixia security experts, the Application and Threat Intelligence (ATI) Research Center, that offer exposure to 6,000+ live attacks and 35,000+ malware, 330+ application signature families, DDoS and botnet attack simulations. The ATI Research Center continuously updates the latest application profiles and threat characteristics by analyzing billions of IP addresses and URLs and millions of pieces of SPAM.

To know themselves, your cyber defense team needs to be tested in realistic conditions. LMS/CBT training only takes the learning so far. But Ixia’s Cyber Range is not just a fundamental training system. It packs the power to practice on a realistic production-like environment by integrating a multi-vendor agnostic environment. And Ixia TrafficREWIND also allows to recreate up to the past 7 days of traffic profile from real production network.

US Air Force Cyber Range
US Air Force Cyber Range

The Best Warriors Train, Train, Train

The renowned Spartans trained as soldiers all the time from age 7 to age 60. The Roman gladiators trained harder than combat by using a wooden weapon called a palus that was double the weight of the actual combat weapon. And the current days’ elite warriors, the US Navy seals, train to the breaking point during Hell Week. Similarly, the best cyber warriors train, train, train. They train all the time at the Cyber Range. They train harder than combat with multiple simultaneous scenarios & enemies. They train to the breaking point with scalable real-world traffic and attacks. Ixia Cyber Range allows anytime, anywhere realistic training and replays simulation within minutes.

Training is meaningless without the ability to assess the acquired skills and drive for results. Ixia Cyber Range encapsulates in a dashboard the key performance indicators for individuals and executives to learn from: scenarios success rates, red team performance, blue team performance, and individual cyber warrior performance. 

Ixia Cyber Range Dashboard
Ixia Cyber Range Dashboard

And finally, all high-performance training programs need to offer new scenarios and attack elements all the time to build up the right level of adaptability the new elite cyber warriors will need in real situations. As the US Marine say: “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome”. The ATI Research Center regularly feeds new live attacks, malware, and application signatures to Ixia Cyber Range simulations so that cyber cadets face new situations every time.

Develop the best cyber warfare professionals by teaching them to know their enemy, their techniques and their view of the IT world, and help your cyber security team know themselves by training all the time at the cyber range. Elite cyber warriors train on elite cyber range.

 

[1] https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/

[2] http://www.esg-global.com/blog/cybersecurity-skills-shortage-profound-impact-on-security-analytics-and-operations