Cengage Group entered into an agreement to acquire Infosec, a cybersecurity education provider, for $190.8 million.
With this acquisition, Cengage Group will expand into the cybersecurity professional training market and meaningfully increase the size of its rapidly growing Workforce Skills business. The transaction is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
“The cybersecurity industry is at a critical inflection point where the skilled labor shortage could have far-reaching and lasting effects on business and personal safety. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for un- or under-employed workers who can upskill or reskill for career advancement. With our scale and resources, more cybersecurity professionals will have access to an affordable and faster option to develop the skills they need,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO of Cengage Group. “The online, employer-paid cybersecurity training segment is currently a $1 billion market, with expectations that it will grow to $10 billion annually by 2027. Combining Infosec with our already-successful Workforce Skills business will provide top-line growth, expand our base of recurring revenue and accelerate our opportunity within the space.”
Infosec will join Cengage Group’s ed2go business as part of its Workforce Skills business, and Cengage will retain and invest in Infosec employees and products to support future growth. Since its founding in 2004, Infosec has already trained more than 100,000 cybersecurity professionals, and helped more than 5 million learners with training to improve cybersecurity knowledge and safety at home and work.
Through its partnerships with hundreds of community colleges and universities, Cengage Group provides post-secondary and online continuing education courses to give students the opportunity to upskill and reskill. According to Cengage Group’s research on the “Great Resignation,” 78% of those who have recently resigned from a job pursued online training courses or certificate programs and said they were essential to landing a new job. Cengage Group’s ed2go business supports these jobseekers and those already employed with market-leading learning experiences to prepare people for careers in in-demand industries such as IT.
“Infosec was built by talented employees who truly believe that knowledge is power and care deeply about creating training materials that help cybersecurity professionals advance in their careers and keep employers and staff aware of cybersecurity threats at home and at work. Cengage Group has the same level of passion for making learning accessible, affordable and applicable to today’s cybersecurity professionals,” said Jack Koziol, CEO and Founder of Infosec. “Building on ed2go’s history in online training, Infosec will benefit from Cengage Group’s scale and expertise, which means we can reach more cybersecurity professionals and employers that are looking to not only grow their careers but to keep businesses, governments and people safe from cyber threats.”
As the world shifted to remote and hybrid working environments, the frequency of cyber-attacks rapidly increased. As a result, the need for skilled and knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals has grown, driving the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify information security analysts as the tenth fastest growing occupation over the next decade, with an employment growth rate of 31%.i
Today, there are nearly 600,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., with more than half requiring at least one certification.ii Globally, the number of open cybersecurity positions is 3.5 million.iii As a result, there are many more jobs available than there are certified professionals. Cengage Group will harness its expertise and scale to expand the reach of Infosec’s highly-rated products and services to train learners in the U.S. and globally.
Through Infosec Skills, cybersecurity professionals have access to 1,400+ hands-on cybersecurity courses, and the option to upgrade to boot camp style, instructor-led training to prepare for certifications. With Infosec’s IQ product, enterprise companies will continue to benefit from thousands of resources for training employees about cyber threats, phishing scams and cyber safety.
DC Advisory acted as exclusive financial adviser to Infosec.