The LSU FIREStarter initiative aligns partners, expertise, and assets around a common goal—rapidly training hundreds of new cybersecurity professionals


Together, We Train Hundreds of New Cybersecurity Professionals

LSU stacks industry and state partnerships, expertise, and assets to fight real-world cybersecurity threats in a hands-on cyber range.

Every organization in every sector is now at risk for devastating cyberattacks. The expertise needed to address these challenges reaches far beyond traditional IT roles, and organizations need the ability to prevent, impede, or stop attacks, and determine what was compromised or lost.
LSU’s FIREStarter (Forensic and Incident Response Environment) is an immersive cyber teaching experience that uses Louisiana data and experts as well as real-world, real-time attacks to train a new generation of cyber talent.
FIREStarter combines courses taught by LSU Department of Computer Science cyber experts and the Louisiana State Police’s Cyber Crime Unit, threat data, the statewide Louisiana Optical Network Infrastructure (LONI) network, a virtual cyber teaching range, and internships to prepare students for immediate employment and impact as highly skilled cyber defenders.
FIREStarter aligns Louisiana’s best assets and experts to protect its future.

LSU FIREStarter stack

Radiance TechnologiesCyber Range Solutions

Louisiana State PoliceLONI

We invest in a superior technical workforce to develop leaders and encourage innovation to tackle the nation’s toughest technical challenges. We see this partnership with LSU and the FIREStarter program as an excellent opportunity to provide students with direct cyber workforce experience in support of our customers.

- Heath Berry, vice president of electronic systems and cyber technologies at Radiance Technologies



FIREStarter’s strength is in its industry and government partners.

  • Radiance Technologies: A large Huntsville, AL-based cybersecurity and technology company that provides solutions to the defense and intelligence communities
  • Cyber Range Solutions (CRS): A turnkey cybersecurity education-as-a-service firm that provides immersive, experiential training programs and platforms
  • Louisiana State Police/Cyber Crime Unit—the state’s data forensics and incident response team
  • Louisiana Optical Network Infrastructure (LONI): The state’s 1,600-mile fiber optic R&D, computing, and cyber test network



FIREStarter’s tenets are collaboration, relevance, extensibility, and employability.

  • Collaboration: LSU students have unequaled access to some of the best cyber infrastructure and expertise in the state, certified digital forensics investigators who have worked with the highest levels of national security and law enforcement
  • Relevance: The cyber range environment enables any network configuration (school, hospital, chemical or industrial plant, campus, or company) to be mimicked and “attacked” in a safe environment so students can experience actual attacks they are likely to encounter in the workforce
  • Extensibility: The CRS environment and LONI R&D network allow the FIREStarter environment to adapt to any potential partner’s network configuration or to provide data for analysis, teaching, and training
  • Employability: FIREStarter students are fast-tracked for productive cyber careers—Radiance Technologies supports several paid interns from the program, and the Cyber Crime Unit provides immersive experiences at Louisiana State Police HQ, including analysis and response projects