Interview with Cybrary President and Co-Founder, Ryan Corey


Cybersecurity is a great career field, but is not for everyone and can be difficult for people to get experience and their first job. It’s also difficult for employers to find enough smart candidates to keep their networks secure. Gula Tech Adventures invested in Cybrary because they help solve both of those problems with free online cybersecurity training and a platform for organizations to grow their own cyber security talent. The following is an interview I conducted recently with Cybrary co-founder, Ryan Corey.
Why did you help create Cybrary?
The lack of frictionless and adequate learning resources for cyber security became evident to me in my 12 years in the field prior to having the idea for Cybrary. We were faced with a burgeoning talent gap in the field, and the fact that we were still trying to solve the problem with the same old antiquated approaches, despite the fact that way we could solve the problem had changed, was ridiculous to me. The old way of talent development in this space was to send people to over-priced, week-long training classes that cover one particular skill. The other option was to send people to a two or four year degree program with stale, stagnant, often out dated content.

In my opinion, preparing professionals to perform at jobs, in the fastest moving industry on the planet, required a model that could move equally as fast. Also, with a talent gap that was growing faster than ever before, we needed to pull in drastically larger numbers of people who were previously not participating. We set out to create a crowd sourced model so that all of the best from the industry could keep the learning fresh, continually evolving and fast moving. Much like how AirBnB scaled inventory faster than any over-night accommodation company ever, through the power of crowd. We then decided to make Cybrary completely frictionless, with free video training, because we wanted no barriers, so that those who would not participate previously, now have no barriers preventing them from participating currently. This is similar to how Uber scaled the ride hailing market, by making those who would never have previously been a driver, have frictionless entry to becoming a driver.

How does online cyber training rival in-person training?
More professionals participate in online cyber training, than classroom training, and the reason is that the on-demand economy caters better to busy people, with busy lives. All of the hands-on, interaction, community, etc. that one receives in a classroom, is now able to be delivered online.

How can enterprise organizations keep their security teams up to date and trained?
I’m of the belief that it is the job of managers and leaders to teach their teams, and that they should be proactive in doing so. An organization that is not continually learning, is one that is not evolving intelligently enough with a market. There is no industry where this is as true, as cyber security. Managers from the companies that are training their staff on Cybrary are more often than not, logging in if not monthly, then quarterly. When they login, they assign new curriculums to their teams that are based on critical skills and technologies that are important to advancing their teams, or they create curriculums for different stages of their teams. For example, one of the largest SOC service providers on the planet has curriculums for their SOC teams titled: SOC Team Onboarding, Mid-Level SOC Analyst, Senior SOC Analyst. Throughout these curriculums, the learning becomes progressively more advanced.

What does Cybrary offer high school and college students interested in cyber?
This is a tricky one, because the data on the site will show you that the most popular learning for millennials is ethical hacking. However, may people just beginning are not fully prepared for content of that level. If I were to recommend a path to high school or college students who are just starting out, I would suggest something more along the lines of: 1) End User Security Awareness, 2) CompTIA A+ and Network+, 3) CompTIA Security+ and then they would have the tools they need to be successful with something like ethical hacking, or even the CISSP.

What type of resources does Cybrary offer the rich ecosystem of cyber startups?
For cyber security startups, I would recommend getting a training course, on their product, up onto the Cybrary platform. The power of the 1.5 million users on Cybrary to surface and share the best technologies is amazing. Great content, great tech and great courses get more visibility because of the community of users on our platform. For a startup looking to get massive amounts of industry practitioners using their product, teach people, on Cybrary, how to use it. Not only do we have the open user base, but think about those SOC Managers and Security leaders that are creating curriculums on the site, wouldn’t you want a training course on your product to be part of those curriculums? In the three years we have been doing this, we’ve seen countless cases of companies driving adoption simply through the mass visibility that courses on our site have.

How can corporations and users learn more or sign up for training?
Cybrary provides anyone, anywhere, the ability to learn cyber security, so it is absolutely free for anyone to join, and roughly 15,000 new people every week are doing so. Cybrary provides free video training, and that will always be the case. However, the best learning technology providers (ie Capture the Flag products, hands-on labs, practice test software, etc.) on the planet also plug-in to Cybrary via API, and they sell those technologies to our users and to the organizations that use us. For organizations who want to begin training their staff, and unlock those hands-on learning technologies on the site for their staff, they can find out more on our site.