June 9 (UPI) -- Thales has launched a new cyber-security center in Belgium that will allow the replicating of network and information systems to prepare for cyber attacks.
The company's Cyberlab, located south of Brussels, will also educate students and enhance the skills of cyber-security specialists.
"As the recent worldwide cyber-attack WannaCry, which affected in particular the operational function of essential services like hospitals or rail transport, illustrates, administrations and businesses must prepare and train themselves to ensure the security of their information systems and protect their data," Thales said in a news release.
"With this new Cyberlab, Thales can reproduce the information networks of an organization, thanks to a dedicated platform, to test its resistance to the latest forms of cyber attacks."
The platform used by the facility enables the validation of the security level of a system's architecture and data; allows cyber-security specialists to be trained in a representative environment of real systems; and to support Belgian businesses in developing products incorporating cyber-security in their design.
Six organizations -- the Royal Military Academy, the Free University of Brussels, the Université Catholique de Louvain, the University of Namur, the Haute Ecole de Bruxelles and the Haute Ecole Libre de Bruxelles – have launched a university program in cyber-security. Thales said its Cyberlab will be used as part of that program.
"Today we must provide the means to guarantee the security of sensitive data as well as that of property and people," commented Jean-Claude Marcourt, vice president of the Government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Minister of Economy, New Technologies and Higher Education.
"After having launched a unique master in cybersecurity in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, we are pleased to see the European leader in cybersecurity and the global leader in data protection expanding in Wallonia. In addition to a role in training specialists and supporting businesses, the platform inaugurated today will contribute to research and development activities in cybersecurity, factors that can contribute to developing our digital ecosystem."