NORTHROP GRUMMAN OPENED FAREHAM CYBER RANGE
By Julian Nettlefold
22 Oct 10. Northrop Grumman Corporation has formally opened at its Fareham facility the first commercially available federated cyber test range in the UK. The cyber range will be used for emulating large complex networks and for conducting cyber experiments and assessments of infrastructure survivability and assurance within a safe and controlled experimental environment to evaluate their resilience to cyber attacks. The UK cyber range has been designed to be federated with other cyber ranges anywhere in the world to create the capability for large scale experiments to be carried out beyond the scope of a single facility.
The federated cyber range was officially opened in Fareham by Gerald Howarth MP, Minister for International Security Strategy, Ministry of Defence in a ceremony attended by more than 50 guests from across Government, industry and academia. Among the guests attending the event was Jean Valentine, one of the first operators of the bombe decryption device at Britain’s Government Code and Cipher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park during the Second World War designed to break the coded messages encrypted by the German Enigma machines.
“Cyber security is a growing challenge which threatens Government and Commerce. Accordingly, the £650 million National Security Strategy which we have announced this week has given it the high priority that it rightly deserves,” said Gerald Howarth MP, Minister for International Security Strategy. “ As we increase our capability to protect ourselves, not only against cyber attacks on the government but on businesses and on individuals, the cyber test range being unveiled here today will play an important part in understanding evolving threats and ensuring that critical networks are safe and properly protected.”
“The U.K. government contributed £500,000 of the £1 million cost of the Northrop facility. We see Cyber security as a key contributor to U.K. technology exports.” Gerald Howarth continued.
The UK cyber range will be able to emulate large infrastructures and global threats and evaluate how these networks, whether military, civilian or commercial, respond to an attack in order to develop capabilities that will make these networks more secure. The cyber range recreates the real?world environment to the highest degree practicable in a closed system, allowing the system to be driven to total failure ensuring the impact of cyber attacks on the systems and how to keep systems operating through them is fully understood.
“Hostile penetrations of cyber systems in both government and industry are widespread, successful and growing. Cyber security is a fundamental necessity for protecting our critical national infrastructure and our new federated cyber range will be a major UK resource for building, testing, and validating technologies as rapidly and efficiently as possible,” said Sir Nigel Essenhigh, chairman of Northrop Grumman UK and chief executive of Northrop Grumman Information Systems Europe. “With the unique capabilities of this new cyber range, Northrop Grumman is set to become one of the UK’s leading cyber solutions providers.”
The UK range will be federated with the existing US cyber range and internet research laboratory located in Northrop Grumman’s Cyberspace Solutions Centre (CSSC) at Millersville, Md. This is dedicated both to independent research and development on cyber security projects as well as to carrying out customer contracts. The company has also opened in the US a state-of-the-art Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC), a comprehensive cyber threat detection and response centre that focuses on protecting Northrop Grumman and its customers’ networks and data worldwide.
“One of the challenges for research into computer network operations and cyber security is experimentation and testing under controlled conditions. We need a test