January 6, 2016 / 11:06 AM / 4 years ago

Education group Graham targets growing cyber learning market

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Graham Holdings, the former Washington Post parent that now focuses on non-newspaper media and for-profit education, is moving into the fast-emerging market for corporate cyber security training, with a new business unit launch set for Wednesday.

The move comes as U.S. lawmakers have proposed requiring companies to disclose publicly whether they have a “cyber security expert” on their boards, and as governments and businesses face the growing threat of cyber attacks.

CyberVista’s scheduled launch at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas reflects an expansion in cyber security training beyond technical professionals to business executives.

The company will help students prepare for cyber security certification, and also offer continuing education for cyber professionals.

CyberVista will depend on the “learning-science” expertise of its Kaplan unit, founded in 1938, which prepares students for college tests, CyberVista Chief Executive Amjed Saffarini said in an interview.

Analysts project growth in the cyber security training market, which includes boot camps, certification classes and professional degree programs offered by for-profit companies such as Apollo Education Group and SANS Technology Institute, and nonprofit groups such as International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium.

Educating corporate leaders and improving workforce knowledge is only part of the answer to boosting cyber security, said Alan Paller, president of SANS Technology Institute.

“It’s not what to teach people; it’s finding the big talent to begin with” in a company, he said, referring to employees with the technical aptitude. “Consulting services are essentially telling the boards that they need more study and more analysis and more reporting.”

Graham, which sold the Post in 2013 to Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos, is facing increased regulation and declines in student enrollment in its for-profit learning business.

Corporate research firm Morningstar projected Graham’s fiscal 2015 revenue would fall to $2.5 billion from $3.5 billion in fiscal 2014. Graham’s shares closed down 1.45 percent on Tuesday at $462.61, down from $526.88 a year ago.

Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Richard Chang

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