Baltimore Cyber Range, a facility to train cybersecurity professionals in strategies through threat simulations, opened Thursday in downtown Baltimore.

Gov. Larry Hogan called it the first stand-alone and hands-on training cybersecurity training center in the nation. The center, created by technology firm Cyberbit, based in Israel, opened in Spark Baltimore, a co-working center just north of the Inner Harbor. Hogan announced the center's creation during his trade mission to Israel last September.

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"It will provide the most-up-to date training for our cyber force, further demonstrating that Maryland is truly the cyber capital of America," Hogan said Thursday in an announcement.

The Cyber Range will use a platform developed by Cyberbit, which develops simulated training products. Cyberbit's Range Platform gives security teams hands on training in realistic settings and allows them to keep pace with evolving cyber threats.

The center is funded with a $250,000 state EARN grant that allowed Baltimore-based defense technology firm Electronic Technology Associates to put together a consortium of nine private defense contractors and two agencies, the Mayor's Office of Employment Development and Baltimore City Community College. The consortium will send employees for training. The state-funded EARN initiative offers workforce development grants.

Adi Dar, CEO of Cyberbit, said the company sees demand for hands-on cybersecurity training from both private and public-sector organizations.

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