The CYBER.ORG Range, a no-cost, safe, virtual environment for K-12 students to learn cybersecurity skills, will be expanded to students nationwide, according to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly.

CYBER.ORG is a workforce development organization funded by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program (CETAP) grant and an initiative of the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC). Governor Edwards and Jen Easterly, Director of CISA, announced that the CYBER.ORG Range, a no-cost, safe, virtual environment for K-12 students to learn cybersecurity skills, will be expanded to students nationwide.

Initially funded by the state of Louisiana, the first-of-its-kind CYBER.ORG Range will be expanded by CISA through the CETAP grant to ensure that students in all 50 states have the skills and training needed to enter the cybersecurity workforce successfully.

The CYBER.ORG Range is accessible to all K-12 students but is primarily geared toward high school students interested in learning core cybersecurity concepts and curriculum.

With over 750,000 open cybersecurity positions and continued cyberattacks on both the public and private sectors, expanding access to cybersecurity education is more critical than ever. “The CYBER.ORG Range is designed to lower the existing barriers to entry into the cybersecurity field by helping ensure that all students are cyber literate and have core cybersecurity skills,” said Laurie Salvail, Director of CYBER.ORG. 

Through the CYBER.ORG Range and CYBER.ORG’s other free resources, K-12 teachers are empowered to teach cybersecurity in the classroom. Educators can use the Range to help students practice deploying and discovering cyberattacks in a safe and controlled virtual environment. All labs in the CYBER.ORG Cybersecurity course can be completed on the CYBER.ORG Range.

“To meet the cyber threats of the future, we need to start by preparing for them today. Early cyber education is critical to our national security and tomorrow’s cybersecurity professionals are sitting in today’s classrooms. The CYBER.ORG Range will make hands-on cyber education accessible to students nationwide helping to build the foundation of our nation’s future cybersecurity,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly.

The labs in CYBER.ORG’s Cybersecurity Course are designed to prepare students for the CompTIA Security+ Exam, which provides students with a springboard to intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs. Security+ incorporates best practices in hands-on troubleshooting, ensuring candidates have practical security problem-solving skills.