Virtual Laboratory Environments: Methodologies for Educating Cybersecurity Researchers

Abstract

In an ongoing effort to improve the educational experiences for their students and to open the door to research opportunities, many institutions are investigating innovative methodologies to provide hands-on learning and research environments. The application of virtualisation technologies to the study of computer security and other academic disciplines has had the most significant impact through the development of specialised laboratories utilising workstation or server based virtualisation. While these labs vary greatly in configuration and scope, they share a common purpose; to provide scalable infrastructure solutions to support cybersecurity research and education, training, and awareness. The innovation and variety associated with these labs are remarkable, with the additional challenges and opportunities of each deployment providing a rich foundation for future development and extension to a wider audience. The common component employed in each program is the extensive use of virtualisation. This paper investigates three unique example implementations of these environments which represent the continuum from local to remote access. Findings include the significant amount of resources required to initially create a virtual research environment, the administration requirements, and the advantages of leveraging the knowledge developed through several years of testing and application to reduce the resource requirements and financial investment.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Nance2010VirtualLE, title={Virtual Laboratory Environments: Methodologies for Educating Cybersecurity Researchers}, author={Kara L. Nance and Brian Hay and Ronald C. Dodge and Alex Seazzu and Steve Burd}, year={2010} }