The launch of the Cyber Lab housing the Security Operations Centre (SOC) marks a sequence of new partnerships to ensure that the next generation of security experts have the skills and experience required in today’s evolving cyber-threat landscape. 

By partnering with data centre, cloud and managed security services provider Proact, and security intelligence company LogRhythm, the university has introduced the latest software and services so students can gain critical training by mimicking a real-world environment.

The SOC offers a ‘safe’ environment for students to tackle cyber-attacks of all shapes and sizes. 

Jackie Riley, Head of Department for Cyber Security and Networks in the School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment at GCU, said: “The value of the new SOC is that it takes education beyond the classroom.

“Students can experience real-life scenarios to increase their understanding of security situations, enabling them to respond quickly and effectively.” 

The SOC officially opened on October 23 at a launch event which saw all partners discuss the latest trends and developments in the cybersecurity world.

The opening coincides with the Scottish Government’s initiatives to drive digital transformation, where businesses of all kinds are encouraged to leverage digital services.

Access to security skills will play a key part in every company’s innovation plans. 

Wayne Barraclough, chief security officer at Proact in the United Kingdom, said: “We’ve seen first-hand how the training at GCU prepares students for careers in cybersecurity. We’ve employed a number of graduates from their ranks and are proud to contribute to a new generation of cybersecurity talent.

“The SOC will offer a great opportunity to simulate the demands and complexities we experience as part of our day-to-day delivery of security services.

“It not only brings together industry-leading technology and software, like we operate in our SOC, but allows us to share our knowledge to help students develop for the industry.”

Jonathan Zulberg, director of sales engineering at LogRhythm, EMEA, said: “We see this as an investment in the future of cybersecurity. LogRhythm empowers organisations to improve the maturity of their security for faster threat detection and response, which is achievable with a combination of the right technology, processes and people.

“With access to our Gartner-leading NextGen SIEM platform, students at GCU can develop much needed skills for our industry by learning how to uncover critical threats and minimise risk.”