Goldman Sachs has led an $8 million Series A investment round in fast-growing cyber security skills platform Immersive Labs.

The funding, made alongside smaller private investors, will grow an offering which arms enterprise IT and cyber security teams with the latest skills by combining threat data with gamified learning.

The award-winning Immersive Labs platform uses real-time feeds of the latest attack techniques, hacker psychology and technological vulnerabilities to rapidly build cyber wargames for IT and security teams to learn from.

The platform can upskill people within hours of a threat emerging and can also be used to identify and fix less immediate weaknesses in the talent pool.

The Bristol company was founded by ex-GCHQ researcher James Hadley and has Robert Hannigan as chair of the Advisory Board. Current clients include global corporates with complex cyber security needs, such as BAE Systems, Sophos and Grant Thornton.

The funding will go towards adding people and infrastructure to develop the platform further, supporting its continued growth and rapid go-to-market strategy.

“Large organisations are facing a dual cyber security talent problem; not only is the number of professionals seriously lagging but so is the pace at which their skills are developed,” said Immersive Labs CEO Hadley.

“If you are able to recruit the right people in the first place, today’s attackers move so fast your team may quickly fall behind.

“Our goal is to reduce this gap. With increased capital, we can help more companies continue to upskill their cyber talent in a way which keeps pace with the threat landscape.”

Andy Ozment, chief information security officer at Goldman Sachs, said: “Having rolled out the Immersive Lab platform globally ourselves, we are aware of the benefits it brings to large organisations.

“Continuous training programmes are critical to meeting evolving cyber security threats.

“The Immersive platform has helped us hone the skills of the people at the front line of our cyber defenses and identify new talent throughout the organisation.”