Image Gallery: Tech Data Opens Cyber Range in Arizona

It's the first cyber range in the distribution industry, according to Tech Data. We have pictures.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

November 21, 2019

9 Slides

Tech Data is tackling the cybersecurity skills shortage by opening a cyber range in Tempe, Arizona.

The new facility provides a virtual environment where users can simulate cyberattacks and safely test security technologies. Alex Ryals, Tech Data’s vice president of security solutions for the Americas, said it is the first cyber range in distribution.


Tech Data’s Alex Ryals

“They’ve created an environment where cyber professionals can come in, they get hands-on experience when it comes to either protecting or attacking an environment,” Ryals said.

The 2019 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study found that 65 percent of businesses don’t have enough cybersecurity professionals. One of the reasons for this gap is the challenge of moving from head knowledge to real-world experience, according to Ryals.

“Where are you supposed to learn how to defend against the latest Chinese malware?” he said. “Are you supposed to do that in your house? You can’t replicate that at home. You probably shouldn’t do it on your own corporate network; your IT guys would be mad. You probably shouldn’t do it on someone else’s network; that’s no bueno.”


Tech Data’s Stephan Tallent

Stephen Tallent, senior director of MSSP and service enablement, noted that 80% of Security Operations Center (SOC) personnel have never experienced a real attack.

“Imagine giving a police officer a loaded gun without putting them through range training and don’t-shoot-the-lady-with-the-baby scenarios — that obviously is not ideal,” he said.

Jason Norred is the senior director of security for Solutions II, a Colorado-based partner that provides security and infrastructure solutions, and managed security services. He said he’ll use the cyber range to train existing and future staff. The range also allows him to offer technology demonstrations that more closely resemble the real world.


Solutions II’s Jason Norred

“There are other cyber ranges, but this is the first one that I have convenient and ready access to that is vendor-agnostic, multiple-solution [and] multiple platforms,” Norred told Channel Futures.

Norred said his customers are surprised to learn that the range allows them to try out a variety of vendors and product lines.

“I think the assumption automatically is that they’re going to come in and see one specific vendor or manufacturer’s logo on everything, and that’s all they’re going to be exposed to,” he said.

Tech Data invited media and local dignitaries to its the grand opening of the Cyber Range last week. We went along and took some pictures.

Click through our slideshow above to get a glimpse of the Tech Data Cyber Range. Also learn more about the Apollo Global Management’s acquisition plans for Tech Data.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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