The partnership—first of its kind between an Ontario College and Finnish university—will put Fanshawe at the forefront of cybersecurity education and research

Fanshawe recently signed a cooperation agreement with JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä, Finland to develop cyber security expertise and cyber security training activities.

With cyberattacks on the rise worldwide, strengthening cyber security is critical. In addition to national and regional cyber activities, international cooperation is also needed.

According to Tero Kokkonen, director of the Institute of Information Technology at JAMK University of Applied Sciences, the main objective of the signed agreement is cyber range cooperation, which enables opportunities for cyber range-based training, education and RDI activities.

Since 2013, JYVSECTEC, the cyber security research, development, and training centre of JAMK University of Applied Sciences, has maintained and developed a unique Realistic Global Cyber Environment (RGCE). It is a technical training environment separated from the internet and the operational activities of companies and organizations, and it models the global digital society. In Finland, the RGCE environment has been used for years in national cyber security exercises, and recently it was awarded as the Information Security Service of the year.

With the recent changes in the global security environment, the importance of RGCE has grown even more. With the agreement now signed, JYVSECTEC will build a replica of the RGCE cyber environment at Fanshawe’s London Campus, tailored to their needs.

As cooperation and knowledge become stronger, it will be possible to react to cyber threats more efficiently than before.

"The agreement is an important step towards a long-term partnership, which will expand JYVSECTEC's cyber environment-based service concept as well as international cyber security cooperation," Kokkonen says.

According to Dev Sainani, associate dean of Fanshawe’s School of Information Technology, the acquisition of the CyberRange and the partnership with JAMK provides the College with greatly augmented capabilities and increased opportunities for leadership in cybersecurity education, research, skills development and operations.

“The CyberRange enables us to equip our students with industry-leading skills and capabilities that will position our students at the forefront of the field,” says Sainani. “It will allow them to tackle some of the most challenging problems present and developing across most information technology areas of focus.”

The partnership with JAMK provides Fanshawe with an opportunity to participate in the ongoing development and evolution of the CyberRange network. The College will create new areas of research and operation in a variety of domain areas that will benefit both partners and contribute to the maturity of the global cybersecurity network.

“The CyberRange partnership is a unique opportunity to advance cybersecurity education through innovative simulation models in various industries,” says Mary Pierce, dean of Fanshawe’s Faculty of Business, Information Technology and Part-time Studies. “Fanshawe graduates will be uniquely prepared to serve employer cybersecurity needs. Our intention is to use this new capability at Fanshawe to improve cybersecurity efficacy throughout our region.”

Through hands-on experience with the complete CyberRange, students in programs such as cybersecurity will have an opportunity to build a skillset that is in high demand locally and around the world as they build their careers. This unique partnership will put Fanshawe at the forefront of cybersecurity education and research.