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Montreat College recently completed work on its Cybersecurity Operations Teaching Lab, where Montreat students will train in a workspace that mirrors cybersecurity facilities in corporate and government environments.

The lab will also help students prepare for National Cyber League and Collegiate Cyber Defense competitions.

The lab was made possible by a gift from Mission Health, which has teamed with Montreat College to develop cybersecurity professionals who have technical expertise and the ethical framework necessary to become leaders in the cybersecurity field. Other gifts made the lab possible, as well.

“Montreat College is committed to developing ethical leaders to help solve the cybersecurity problems faced in corporate and government environments,” said Montreat College president Paul J. Maurer. “And the new Cybersecurity Operations Teaching Lab mirrors the kind of security operations centers our graduates will work in.”

The Cybersecurity Operations Teaching Lab is located in the college’s Belk Student Center and is housed on its own isolated network, featuring 100 Mbps of dedicated network bandwidth, 15 student workstations with dual 1080p 23-inch monitors and five 60-inch overhead monitors.

A preview of the newly-completed lab was made available at the college’s Oct. 21 RETR3AT Cybersecurity Conference to attendees that included U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and other government officials. An open house was held Nov. 2.

Cybersecurity has rapidly become one of the nation’s biggest concerns, “thereby creating a tremendous need in the market for a deeper understanding of the problem, and for qualified workers to address it,” Maurer said.

“Montreat College brings a unique perspective to the dialogue,” he said, “because we see cybersecurity as more than a technical problem. The solution requires educating people of character to be the leaders to address this problem. While our students acquire strong technical skills, they are also taught the ethics of cybersecurity and the ability to communicate with and lead the teams they work with.”

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