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The Range is Home

BSU unveils new multi-million dollar cyber range

Robert Johnson, ’25, transferred to BSU specifically because the university’s new cybersecurity major provides a pathway into a growing and in-demand field. 

And Robert is confident in his decision as he begins partaking in hands-on activities, including protecting actual organizations from cyber attacks.

“It’s real-world experience as a student,” he said. “I don’t know of another program like this.” 

Robert is also excited to experience Bridgewater’s state-of-the-art cyber range, which BSU recently unveiled to government and industry representatives. 

Funded with almost $3.8 million in state and federal grants, the range is the most advanced in New England. It allows students and cybersecurity professionals to experience mock attacks, from beginning scenarios to complex situations that take experts hours to solve. With multi-colored flashing lights, desks that shake and a massive video screen on one wall, the range immerses users in the high-stakes world of battling cybercrime.

“Cybersecurity intersects with all industries,” said Steve Zuromski, ’04, G’09, vice president of information technology and chief information officer. “Everyone has to be trained, and this is the place to do it.” 

Zuromski highlighted a three-pronged approach to cybersecurity education at BSU that blends classroom instruction at the graduate and undergraduate level; scenarios in the range; and the opportunity to conduct threat monitoring for outside organizations through a new Security Operations Center. 

“Today is a vision realized: the deployment of a sophisticated tool … to address a profound cybersecurity workforce challenge in our state and in our nation,” BSU President Frederick W. Clark Jr., ’83, said of the range. 

Officials cut a red ribbon outside of the new cyber range.

With an immediate need for 750,000 more cybersecurity workers nationwide and 20,000 just in Massachusetts, BSU’s range will be a model for the nation, said U.S. Rep. Bill Keating. 

“It’s something I think will take us to the forefront of meeting emergent threats,” Keating said. 

State lawmakers and representatives of Gov. Maura Healey’s administration see BSU Cyber as a resource to help municipalities and organizations bolster their defenses and a critical driver of economic and workforce development. 

“Our goal is to empower the next generation of cybersecurity professionals,” said state Sen. Walter Timilty, adding: “This cyber range will train the workforce of tomorrow.” 

Industry representatives said BSU is making cybersecurity education accessible to people of all backgrounds and helping solve a problem that keeps business leaders awake at night. 

Jay Ash, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, praised Bridgewater for giving students the foundation necessary to excel. Ash also chairs the board of CyberTrust Massachusetts, a nonprofit partnering with BSU on cybersecurity initiatives. 

“We do that with the confidence that Bridgewater State will not only lead but succeed,” he said.

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