Exciting New Collaboration with Hutchinson Networks

Date posted

30 June 2016

The Cyber Academy and Hutchinson Networks have started a new collaborative project which aims to create a completely virtualized infrastructure which mirrors one that can be seen in the banking industry. It will see a Cyber Academy researcher - Sam Hague - work directly within Hutchinson Network's head office in Edinburgh.

The work is supported by major law enforcement agencies and the HEA. It aims to create one of the most advanced environments for cyber security training, and will use SDN (Software Defined Networks) to create large-scale infrastructures for training that mirror real life environments, and where trainees can observe real-life attacks against the network.

It will use real-life devices and  architectures, along with simulated data infrastructure. The architecture will be scripted, and use software-defined networks, in order to create the required infrastructure, and data infrastructure.

As organizations begin to understand that cyber-attacks are inevitable, the IT security market in 2016 is moving spend from traditional protection like firewalls to security operations. A 2015 report estimated that IT security spend on security operations will increase from 23% of overall IT security budget in 2015 to 39% by 2017.

Traditional security protection devices are generating a significant amount of security analytics data. As a result, organisations are drowning in security analytics and without security operations it is impossible to track attacks and respond in a timely fashion.

The purpose of this project is to use HN’s public cloud platform, Fabrix, to automate the creation of a security operations training environments. This will allow Edinburgh Napier to deliver training courses, aimed to help security operations and data scientists to better protect their data using security analytics tools. It will also allow Edinburgh Napier to develop industry best practices for the consumption of security analytics data.

The environment is also focused on creating a real-life infrastructure for the analysis of security threats, where security methods can be tested within a controlled environment. The team are currently working on machine learning methods for advanced security analytics.

The collaboration also involves a number of partners who have donated their software and systems, including for HPE Arcsight, F5, and RSA SA.

If you want to collaborate in any way on training, innovation or research, contact Lynn Crawford, the Project Manager of The Cyber Academy.