Cyber warfare range opens at Grand Canyon University

$6 trillion dollars is the predicted cost of cyber warfare crimes by 2021. A new cyber warfare range at GCU will act as a cyber security workforce.

Grand Canyon University is now home to a "Cyber Warfare Range" aimed at fighting off cyber attacks. 

Cyber warfare is threatening our way of life.

“Something happens in terms of a cyber-attack every 39 seconds,” said Brian Mueller, President of Grand Canyon University.

Mueller says $6 trillion dollars is the predicted cost of cyber warfare crimes by 2021.

“1 in 3 people have been affected by the Equifax hack,” said Dr. Heather Monthie of the College of Science, Engineering & Technology at GCU.

And here in the U.S. cyber criminals steal 4 million records every day.

“We have significant enemies out there,” said John Iannarelli, retired member of the FBI's Cyber Division. “We are at war and if we don’t win this war, many things we take for granted will no longer exist."

But now Grand Canyon University, the Arizona Cyber Threat Response Alliance or ACTRA, the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are teaming up to help Valley residents and businesses fight back.

“The Cyber Warfare Range can contribute a solution,” said Frank Grimmelmann, President & CEO of ACTRA.

It’s a 4,500 square-foot range in GCU’s new Innovation Center, stocked with laptops, servers and other equipment.

“A real live environment, with real live attacks,” said Monthie. “For our students to get into the head of the bad guy but apply a hackers with halos approach to protecting and defending.”

The idea is to fortify the cyber security landscape and build a cyber security workforce.

“We have a bachelor of science and information technology program now with an emphasis in cyber security,” said Mueller.

And GCU is one of the only university’s in the nation that has a master’s degree program in cyber security.

“Cyber operations, cyber defense, digital forensics and legal and ethical issues,” said Monthie. So for anyone out there who’s thinking about a career?

“This is job security for the future,” said Iannarelli. “We have to be proactive, we have to be engaged, we have to win.”

There are currently 30,000 cyber security job openings nationwide and 7,200 open positions in Arizona. The median annual salary for a cyber security analyst is 92,600 dollars.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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