Meet Lauri Almann, Co-Founder at CybExer Technologies

Lauri Almann is an Estonian cyber security and defense expert, who worked in these areas as an attorney-at-law, diplomat, and civil servant within the Estonian Government for many years before co-founding CybExer Technologies in 2016.

CybExer Technologies is a NATO-awared cybersecurity firm specialising in delivering cyber range solutions to large organisations. The company recently raised €5 million in funding to expand global operations and bring more flexibility to the market. 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The idea was really a joint venture. Our team is made up of members from various different backrounds; back in 2016, CybExer Technologies materialised after we had all worked together on some of the most complex cyber security exercises in the world. 

While working together, we went through a long process of tackling certain challenges in cyber – the process led us to eventually piece together what was wrong with the exercises we had been working on. There were a number of difficulties and inefficiencies, including a lack of technological solutions, and a lack of awareness about what was going on in the exercises. Cyber security exercises before 2015 pretty much looked like a bunch of guys sitting in a room sending e-mails, and we figured out that we wanted to move away from that, to combine our knowledge of deep technologies, banking, health care, strategic management and defence to offer experiences that are meaningful and more dynamic. 

Using the knowledge we gained over time, we managed to create a cyber range experience where the whole process ran a lot more smoothly, from the idea right through to delivery. It was important to us that the experience was seamless and free from the constant, artificial commercial restrictions that we had experienced in the past. We didn’t want to have limitations on the size of our team, the content we could or couldn’t choose to deliver our solution, or a lack of transparency with regards to what the cyber range was running at any given point. 

The experience we created in the form of our cyber range solution exceeded all our expectations; we could only have dreamed of it all those years ago. We have really succeeded in changing the things that caused us so many issues before, and the product we have now is something we’re really proud of. As work continues, we’re always looking for new ways to improve the ranges and make them more accessible, usable, and technologically sophisticated.



How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

Two things happened during the pandemic for us. On the one hand, the pandemic really verified the work we’ve been doing and reaffirmed that our decision making has been on-track to tackle new trends in cybersecurity. 

However, on the other hand, the massive increase in cyberattacks has had an extremely negative effect on the world, and we’ve seen changes in the types of attacks taking place, as well as the sophistication of attacks increasing. So there have been both opportunities and challenges which has made it difficult to navigate, as it has done for companies across all industries.

This demand for various cyber security solutions has understandably spiked, and it’s also driven the demand for platforms which allow you to test those solutions  – they need to be scalable too, since the business environment has been so volatile. Preparing for cyber threats has become a massive priority, so our cyber range solution is one of the technologies generating a lot of interest. 

What can we hope to see from CybExer in the future?

One of the exciting areas of expansion that we are currently seeing is in academia – the demand for academic cyber ranges is growing, and it’s a journey that we definitely want to go on. We were actually the first company to offer an academic cyber range solution in the UK market, so we want to continue creating momentum in the UK and globally, too.

Another area where our ranges have interesting use cases is in smart cities – we want to lead on ‘smart city ranges’. As cities get more technologically advanced and as systems and networks get more complex, more and more defenses are needed to keep systems online and to help to prepare for fending off cyber threats. Those systems also need to be tested and validated. 

And finally – we can’t get past Artifical Intelligence. If we are looking at the threat landscape, we see the AI-enabled offensive capabilities that have emerged. We need to be thinking about how to deal with this, and how we can come up with solutions that are effective against the emerging AI threats. 


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