Almost all businesses and services now have an online presence, which means they need to take special care to ensure data protection. However, every other week we come across news about data leaks and hacks wherein consumer’s data is compromised. The systems to keep data secure can only be as good as the people designing them and this is where the Estonia-based cybersecurity training startup RangeForce comes in.
The startup provides on-demand, realistic cloud-based cybersecurity training programs that are remote accessible and can assess, train, and continually upskill cyber professionals. RangeForce has now successfully secured €13.46 million in Series A funding round. In a conversation with Silicon Canals, the company’s VP of Marketing, Will Munroe sheds more insight into how the startup works, what it aims to do and more.
Gamified training modules to develop cybersecurity skills
The best way to learn is by practice and the RangeForce cloud platform does exactly the same. It enables teams to learn by defending against real attacks in a hands-on, competitive environment which is a scalable and cost-effective alternative to traditional methods. It also offers the RangeForce CyberSkills platform that enables enterprise defenders to continuously practice handling cyberattacks.
“RangeForce 2.0 continues to deliver our on-demand, 100% hands-on, gamified training modules that develop cybersecurity skills through real-life scenarios. A fully integrated cyber range adds individual and team-based offensive and defensive exercises that allow security teams to experience the feel of defending against a real cyberattack,” says Munroe.
“RangeForce’s training, assessments, and attack simulations are the most effective way to improve and measure a security team’s detection and response capabilities and develop better web application security and DevOps hygiene. With the RangeForce CyberSkills Platform, your team is better prepared to defend, detect, and respond to advanced attacks.”
Funds to fuel growth
RangeForce was founded back in 2015 by three Estonian entrepreneurs Taavi Musk, Margus Enrits, and Jaanus Kink. While the company started out in Estonia, it currently has headquarters in Virginia, just outside of Washington DC. Its secondary office is based out of Tallinn, Estonia, where the company’s cybersecurity intelligence experts define their training modules.
The founders met while working on a project to build out a Cyber Range and cyberattack simulations for the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE). They realised that NATO had resources to create cyber security simulations but a university or business didn’t and this is where the concept of RangeForce took shape.
The latest funding round for RangeForce was led by Energy Impact Partners. It was supported by Paladin Capital Group, Trind and includes a new investment from Cisco Investments. The fresh funds will help the startup to ramp up its go to market efforts and advance product development. The company also aims to expand its ecosystem of training orchestration partners and focus on global growth.
RangeForce is doing rather well with its offerings as it sells its service in a SaaS annual subscription that is one third of the cost of a current week-long training program. The company says it’s growth is notable at over 30 percent per quarter and it has observed an astounding 2700 percent year-over-year increase in annual recurring revenues. Under the program it offers, learners gain access to over 200 training modules and learning paths, along with new ones being released during the year-long subscription.
As for the market it is targeting, “RangeForce estimates the total security professional training market to be $2.5 billion. When application security and DevSecOps are added in, the total addressable market is estimated to be $5.8 billion.” adds Munroe.
Providing visibility and covering skills required for the job
There are some notable problems with the existing training solutions. These training courses are usually focused on individuals and professional certifications, and thus might not cover the skills required for the job. It also lacks hands-on training, which is direly needed to help security professionals become proficient, and there’s also no way to go back and practice what one has learned. These are some of the issues that RangeForce solves.
As for the competition, “RangeForce competes against a variety of traditional training companies, including SANS, Cybrary, and Circadence, to name a few. RangeForce also competes against traditional hardware-based cyber range companies like IBM and CyberBit,” says Munroe. The main factor differentiating RangeForce from its competitors is the fact that the startup is the only company that offers complete simulation-based training from the cloud.
Additionally, the company offers the ability to perform integrated assessments at the beginning, during, and at the completion of any learning path. This offers visibility into the strengths and weaknesses of each learner. RangeForce products are said to be highly scalable and work at less latency than any of its competitors. It also delivers training and exercises that include security software from leading vendors like Splunk, Cisco, Carbon Black, amongst others.
“RangeForce is the only company that includes a fully integrated cyber range in the platform and delivered from the cloud. RangeForce’s Cyber Ranges offer the ability to run red team and blue team exercises in conjunction with or as part of an overall training program. RangeForce’s Cyber Range, delivered from the cloud, also includes 20+ prebuilt exercises to significantly cut down on the cost companies face working with the hardware-based ranges,” Munroe notes.
Main image credit: RangeForce
Interview by Akansha Srivastava