C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

Thales seeks to expand Cyberlab beyond Belgium

01 February 2019

Cyberlab aims to train customers in the skills to defend their systems and organisations against cyber attacks using a mix of real and virtual equipment. Source: Thales

Thales has secured a range of military customers for its 'Cyberlab' in Tubize, Belgium, and now plans to roll the concept out to its subsidiaries in other countries, the company has told Jane's .

The Belgian Cyberlab was established in 2017, with three major functions in mind, said Yves Looverie, Thales' sales and marketing manager for Cybersecurity Services: Practice, Validate, and Experiment. As a training platform, it aims to school customers in the skills to defend their systems and organisations against cyber-attacks. It is also able to reproduce industrial control systems and networks and other potential targets of cyber attack, analysing their resistance capabilities, he said.

Finally, Cyberlab can evaluate military or industrial solutions and products in terms of their cyber security or help develop products that are "secured by design", Looverie added.

The laboratory has trained military personnel from across the Belgian services, Looverie noted. For example, Thales has built scenarios where hackers gain access to the lubrication systems of an engine in a Belgian Navy frigate, to illustrate the potential risks of a cyber attack.

The Cyberlab employs a hybrid approach, using a mix of real and virtual equipment, Looverie said. The virtual aspect makes the platform scalable. It can include a mixture of hardware and software applications while external components can also be plugged in, depending on customer requirements, he said.

In a typical training scenario, the room is divided into three areas to represent a real operational environment: the blue team 'spot' is for the customer and can support up to five people who manage the virtual network; the red team spot comprises up to three Thales' hackers who attempt to penetrate the blue team's infrastructure; and the final spot, which contains the required servers and other equipment to support the infrastructure, comprises the 'management team': Thales' employees who oversee the scenario on screens and provide real-time feedback.

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