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UK Cybersecurity Startup Wins Goldman Sachs Deal

Bristol-based Immersive Labs wins global bank deal

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK’s Immersive Labs has added Goldman Sachs to its growing client roster, with a new deal to help support the global investment bank’s cybersecurity team.

The major client win for the Bristol-based company comes as it opens new offices in Washington and New York this week.

Existing clients include BAE Systems, Deloitte and Grant Thornton.

Immersive Labs was founded and is run by GCHQ veteran James Hadley, a former cyber skills trainer at the the UK signals intelligence organisation, and is chaired by Robert Hannigan, GCHQ’s former director general.

It provides a gamified virtual learning platform to help employees develop countermeasures against attackers and improve cyber skills.

“Staying Sharp”

Andy Ozment, Goldman Sachs’ CISO said in a release this morning: “There is a critical shortage of cyber professionals across the globe which makes it difficult for organisations to find talented individuals and puts added pressures on existing cyber professionals to keep their skills sharp.”

He added: “Immersive Labs provides an innovative solution for training and identifying new cyber professionals and honing the skills of existing ones.”

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The platform can run in any internet browser. It allows users to spin up over 300 labs on topics including SOC Analysis, Malware Analysis and Ethical Hacking without specialist software or plug-ins. Labs are suitable from novice to ninja.

It also provides CISOs and CIOs with  data on how security teams are performing.

“Cyber Talent Doesn’t Like to Be Taught”

“The best of the best cyber talent likes to learn; however, they don’t like to be taught,” said James Hadley, CEO and founder of Immersive Labs.

He added: “The cyber skills shortage is one of the largest problems facing the technology sector today, and as a result attackers are winning.  We realised that if we wanted to fix this at scale, it was not something that could be done in a classroom as it just doesn’t appeal to the people we are trying to reach.  It needs to be fun, engaging and ongoing, so we took a disruptive approach to the market.”

Goldman Hacks

Goldman Sachs will initially roll the platform out to its cybersecurity team, then intends to extend the virtual learning platform to its 8,000+ developers and potentially other types of workers across the firm as part of its commitment to cyber resiliency.

Hadley also noted that the culture of competition had encouraged high levels of participation by technical staff at ImmersiveLabs’ other corporate clients. “A lot of our heavy users use the platform on Friday and Saturday night because they want to be at the top of the leader board come Monday morning,” he said.




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