Mimecast Acquires Cyber-Risk Training Specialist Ataata


Email security specialist Mimecast acquired cybersecurity training startup Ataata in a move to offer customers a cloud platform engineered to mitigate risk and reduce employee security errors.

"Cybersecurity awareness training has traditionally been viewed as a 'check-the-box' action for compliance purposes, boring videos with Ph.D.s rambling about security or even less than effective gamification, which just doesn't work," said Peter Bauer, founder and CEO of Mimecast, in a statement. "The powerful combination of Mimecast's cyber-resilience for email capabilities paired with Ataata's employee training and risk scoring will help customers enhance their cyber-resilience efforts."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mimecast was awarded CRN's highest five-star ranking in the 2018 Partner Program Guide.

According to a 2017 report by IT research firm Gartner, the security awareness computer-based training market will grow to more than $1.1 billion by 2020. Bauer said it is becoming increasingly "essential to educate" employees in a way that "changes behavior."

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Founded in 2016, Ataata has a Software-as-a-Service platform designed to reduce human error in the workplace and help enable organizations to become more security-savvy by changing the security culture of employees. Mimecast said the acquisition will allow customers to measure cyber-risk training effectiveness by converting behavior observations into actionable risk metrics for security professionals, which will strengthen Mimecast's cyberesilience for email capabilities.

"Human error is involved in the majority of all security breaches, and these casual mistakes can cost organizations money, their reputation and, for employees, potentially their job," said Michael Madon, co-founder and CEO of Ataata, in a statement. "We're excited to join forces with Mimecast to help customers build a stronger cyber-resilience strategy that includes robust content, risk scoring and real-world attack simulation -- going way beyond basic security awareness capabilities."

In a similar move this year, Mimecast competitor Proofpoint acquired phishing simulation and security training specialist Wombat Security Technologies for $225 million.

Mimecast will now be able to offer customers a single cloud platform engineered to mitigate risk and reduce employee security mistakes by calculating employee security risk based on sentiment and behavior while connecting them with relevant training based on their score and recommended areas for improvement.

In April, Mimecast launched its first global partner program to replace each of the company's geographies and double discounts for the Lexington, Mass.-based vendor's roughly 400 North American channel partners.