AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Expanding Cybersecurity Education with the Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia Tech

AWS has joined the Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia Tech to support the Cyber Range initiative with scalable cloud infrastructure and to collaborate on cybersecurity educational efforts, enabling the Cyber Range with both content and a closed network for hands-on exercises, competitions, and other simulations.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this important initiative in Virginia, which is one we hope will spark similar programs across the country,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector for AWS. “It’s critical that we have a skilled cybersecurity workforce to meet the growing demands of the field. Security is ‘job zero’ for us at AWS, and we are excited to help inspire the next generation of cyber experts.”

Investments and public-private partnerships to train a cyber workforce with technology like the AWS Cloud can help better equip the next generation of cyber experts. By using AWS, the virtual facility will be well positioned to provide Virginia educators access to cybersecurity courseware, as well as a hands-on laboratory environment for students.

At the Commonwealth’s inaugural Cyber Fusion event and Virginia Cyber Cup Challenge on February 24-25 at Virginia Military Institute, Teresa joined a panel on the challenges and opportunities confronting the United States government, economy, and society in cyberspace and shared AWS’s commitment to growing the cyber and cloud-enabled workforce. See photos from the event below.

One way that we are doing this is through our global AWS Educate Program, which provides an academic gateway for the next generation of IT professionals. Through AWS, universities around the world access curriculum grants and learning content that give their students access to cloud technology. This means that new college grads can learn how to work with cloud computing before they graduate from college.

In addition to training the next-generation of cyber professionals, we provide government and our other customers with the most powerful, flexible, and affordable tools and capabilities to build secure systems. The AWS Cloud infrastructure has been architected to be one of the most flexible and secure cloud computing environments available today. AWS customers inherit all the best practices of AWS policies, architecture, and operational processes built to satisfy the requirements of our most security sensitive customers. We provide a wide variety of best practices documents, encryption tools, and other guidance our customers can leverage in delivering application-level security measures. AWS partners also offer hundreds of tools and features to help customers to meet their security objectives, ranging from network security, configuration management, access control, and data encryption.

Through relationships and programs like the Cyber Range, we are working to fill the cyber knowledge gap, improve hiring practices, and ultimately build a trusted workforce of capable cyber employees.