Based in Bristol, UK, Immersive Labs is the world’s first fully immersive, on-demand, gamified cyber skills training platform.
The company helps corporate workers learn about cyber security threats and skills—including detecting and understanding phishing and malware reverse-engineering—in an approachable way.
“At Immersive Labs, we’re focused on applying game mechanics to build a dynamic and customisable environment that takes learning out of the classroom, and into our own worlds, so that we can learn at our own pace and in our own way,” founder James Hadley told VentureBeat. “And organisations can be better prepared to defend against cyber attacks.”
The platform offers online “labs” that each cover a range of cyber security through story-based exercises. Each unit is designed to meet industry standards, including Mitre Att&ck, a comprehensive knowledge base of cyber crimes, techniques and tactics; and NIST NICE, a multi-sector collaboration to develop best practices in cyber security education. Every set of exercises puts theory into practice through realistic, scenario-specific problems.
To measure the strengths and weaknesses in a company’s cyber security team, Immersive Labs has also developed the “Cyber Capability Score,” a workforce assessment tool to help businesses find and address gaps in their knowledge.
“The Immersive Labs platform up-levels the skillsets of security professionals and all other knowledge workers to strengthen the cyber health of the whole organisation,” Hadley said. “By incorporating new learning techniques, we believe it will also draw more talented professionals to this critical arena.
Hadley previously served as the cyber security instructor for the UK’s security and intelligence entity, the Government Communications Headquarters. As such, he saw a need for a skills development platform that evolves as quickly as the threats do.
“Gaps in cyber security knowledge meaningfully increase risk to an organisation, creating vulnerability and presenting opportunity for attackers,” Hadley explained. “The rapid, constantly evolving threat landscape has made traditional classroom training for cyber skills obsolete.”
Immersive Labs has raised $40 million in Series B funding to expand to North America, where the company recently opened its US headquarters in Boston. The round was led by Summit Partners with participation by Goldman Sachs.