The Standoff: worldwide virtual cyber-range highlights real-world cyber risks and defensive techniques

Event to include large-scale controlled offensive and defensive competition and online conference on top cybersecurity issues (November 12–17).

Rapid digitalization continues to impact nearly all aspects of our lives. But along with the benefits come risks that did not exist prior to the interconnected digital world. From sensitive information disclosure to financial loss and risks to physical safety, the threats in the new digital paradigm are real. The Standoff aims to uncover these risks, empowering industry participants to address key issues and move towards a more secure tomorrow. This global event will be held on November 12–17 across three continents.

The Standoff is an excellent example of collaboration between leading security and technology companies and conferences, including Positive Technologies, EPAM Systems, Microsoft, Cyber R&D Lab, and Hack In The Box. Attendees will see the best offensive and defensive cybersecurity teams in the world come together to enhance their skills in an online competition format. Would you like to join us to create a new approach to security analysis of new technologies and develop tools to model critical infrastructure threats without impacting the real world? If yes, then we are waiting for you at The Standoff.

If there were a way to know in advance how new technologies will interact with each other and how the activity of cybercriminals will affect them, the world would be a safer place. By launching The Standoff, we aim to create a platform for digital modeling of events, such as cyberattacks on critical infrastructure.

One of the centerpieces of The Standoff is an online offensive/defensive competition in which defenders (blue teams) compete against attackers (red teams) to control the infrastructure of a simulated digital city. The exercise goes far beyond the standard Capture the Flag (CTF) format, in which participants only solve security-related tasks. Instead, at The Standoff, both sides get access to the real equipment and software that control the whole of modern urban life and have to hack or defend the infrastructure in real time.

Defending and attacking teams participating in The Standoff are often comprised of actual corporate teams that have taken the opportunity to improve their skills and gain unique experience. By competing at The Standoff, they gain a deep familiarity and training within days that might take months or even years in the real world.

As a cyber-range, The Standoff contains a full-fidelity virtual copy of the manufacturing chains, business scenarios, and technology landscape typical of different industries. A wide range of real companies will be recreated at The Standoff 2020: defenders and attackers will have free run of a natural gas pumping station, port, rail terminal, chemical plant, fire station, oil refinery, amusement park, airport, electrical plant and substation (with windmills), plus business and financial center. A cyber-range of this kind is the only truly effective way to model threats and empirically evaluate the security level of specific technologies. These insights can be used by companies and governments to understand how a particular technology works in the real world and see the consequences of a successful cyberattack.

At the event site, there will be an active round-the-clock Security Operations Center (SOC) equipped with all the latest security tools. The SOC, in conjunction with specialists from the Positive Technologies Expert Security Center (PT ESC), will help to make the virtual action at The Standoff visible to all.

At the same time, The Standoff is also a cybersecurity conference with talks, workshops, and demos from global cybersecurity experts. As a cybersecurity marathon under The Standoff brand, it will start in the U.S. and go through Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, before ending in Russia. The Standoff unites different audiences and countries with one agenda and one idea—improving cybersecurity through real-world offensive and defensive exercises.

The Standoff provides a unique communication platform for instant text and video feedback from the audience, which can flip between channels in real time. All attendees will be able to track reactions, join the conversation, and expand their network by adding new connections.

This year will be the first time for The Standoff conference to arrive online in people's homes. It will provide all participants with an opportunity to share their experiences and gain valuable insights in achieving the core cybersecurity mission of making the world a safer place while strengthening trust in technology!

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See you at The Standoff!