The cybersecurity industry has taken a hit recently, with economic headwinds causing layoffs and a broad pullback from investors. But some firms escaped unscathed, such as the cybersecurity training platform Cybrairewhich today announced it has raised $25 million in a Series C funding round. CEO Kevin Hanes told TechCrunch that the round, which brings Cybrary’s total raised to $48 million, has was led by BuildGroup and Gula Tech Adventure and will be dedicated to developing “content and capabilities” on the company’s platform.
Cybrary was launched in 2015 by co-founders Ralph Sita and Ryan Corey (Hanes joined as CEO a year ago). As Hanes puts it, their mission was to break down barriers to the cybersecurity industry by creating a way for aspiring professionals to enter the field, regardless of background or experience.
“There is an estimate 3.5 million vacancies in cybersecurity today. Studies suggest global cybersecurity workforce must grow by 65% to effectively defend organizations’ critical assets. Introducing more products and technologies will not help organizations solve this fundamental problem,” Hanes told TechCrunch via email. “Investing in people is key to closing the cybersecurity skills gap and helping to combat burnout and human error. Cybersecurity professionals at every stage of their career need an affordable and accessible training platform to equip them with the skills and confidence to respond to threats.
Cybrary’s online learning portal provides access to training content, including online courses and tools, built around adversary techniques and vulnerabilities. The catalog contains activities led by cybersecurity experts, covering topics such as ethical hacking, digital forensics, web application security, networking, and operating systems.
Hanes argues that Cybrary is a more affordable alternative to in-person bootcamps and other online cybersecurity learning platforms on the market. A Pro plan, which includes certification prep, labs, and practice assessments, starts at $59. While some might argue that Cybrary isn’t as comprehensive as an intensive week-long bootcamp, it is indeed a fraction of the cost – most cybersecurity bootcamps average in the thousands of dollars.
“Decision makers need to weigh the most risk they can reduce with the next few dollars they spend and consider the need to train their team,” Hanes said. “Worldwide, 80% of organizations have experienced one or more breaches that they could attribute to a lack of cybersecurity skills and awareness. Leaders therefore need to invest in their people, not only to reduce organizational risk, but also to create a pipeline of cybersecurity talent in their organizations.
Cybrary, which has eighty employees, has reasonably strong traction in the market, with more than 3.7 million users and 742 businesses signed up to its Cybrary for Teams product. The startup also has a fledgling defense business, involving what Hanes loosely described as “many” different government groups and military branches.
“Scaling up our in-house cybersecurity expertise has allowed us to create a new style of training focused on practical skills and understanding real-world threats and vulnerabilities, and how to ensure your organization is protected,” Hanes said. “While Cybrary has always been focused on helping people enter the workforce and achieve their foundational certifications, [recent] Additions to our platform allow us to support these people on their journey long after they land their first role.