Finance

Bristol tech firm strikes deal to offer cyber training to Army


A Bristol tech company has agreed a deal to help the British Army improve the cybersecurity skills of its military personnel.

Immersive Labs, which was founded by ex-GCHQ trainer James Hadley, has developed an online platform for organisations to identify gaps in a workforce’s cyber knowledge.

The Army is using the platform to provide “human cyber capability development” for staff officers, digital deliverers and technical specialists.

The programme is available to everyone working for the Army – regulars, reserves, and civilians – and uses online lab environments and content experiences to improve cyber knowledge, skills, and judgement, according to Immersive Labs.

Staff are able to log on and develop skills at their own pace, the company said, and explore areas of cyber security that interest them most.

The programme starts with the fundamentals of cybersecurity and progresses to more advanced abilities, such as web application security and incident response, to correspond with an individual’s learning pathway.

By mapping a real-time view of the abilities of personnel against industry frameworks, the Army will be able to identify where capabilities are required and “inject” targeted skills improvement, Immersive Labs said.

The Bristol firm said its programme would also prevent “skills decay” over time, provide greater coverage of the threat landscape and identify hidden talent.

Kristina Evans, head of cyber and security for the British Army, said: “The threats we face change day by day and can come from any vector, for this reason, cyber security should not just be limited to backroom technical teams.

“The modern operating environment, at home and overseas, requires strength in depth, with people across the Army providing a defensive cyber capability, which the work with Immersive Labs fully supports.”

The news comes just weeks after Immersive Labs confirmed it had acquired a US tech firm to bolster its cyber security training offering to businesses.

The company reached a deal to buy Pennsylvania-based Snap Labs for an undisclosed sum, and will integrate its technology into its own platform.

Mr Hadley, chief of Immersive Labs, said: “With the nature of modern warfare changing on a daily basis, the British Army needs to improve the cyber abilities of their personnel, with pace and scale.

“By joining forces with the British Army, our platform is playing a vital role in helping achieve this, pinpointing areas for improvement and enhancing the nation’s cyber defence capabilities as a whole.”

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