Mimecast Acquires Email Security Startup MessageControl

MessageControl will provide customers using productivity apps such as Microsoft 365 with stronger protection against advanced phishing and impersonation attacks, according to Mimecast.


Mimecast has bought email security startup MessageControl to help stop social engineering and human identity attacks through the use of machine-learning technology.

The Lexington, Mass.-based email security vendor said its purchase of Chicago-based MessageControl will provide customers using productivity apps such as Microsoft 365 with stronger protection against advanced phishing and impersonation attacks. The acquisition will also prevent the inadvertent loss of sensitive and confidential data while serving as an additional sensor for Mimecast’s threat intelligence.

“MessageControl is a natural complement to Mimecast’s suite of cyber-resilience solutions,” Mimecast CEO Peter Bauer said in a statement. “Its artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities will offer additional layers of defense by evolving and ‘learning’ the customer environment and user behaviors over time.”

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[Related: Mimecast Buys Segasec To Safeguard Against Credential Harvesting]

The deal is not expected to have a material impact on Mimecast’s revenue or adjusted EBITDA in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. The company’s stock is up $0.02 per share (0.04 percent) to $46.38 per share in premarket trading Thursday. Mimecast executives weren’t immediately available for additional comment.

MessageControl was founded in 2015, employs 16 people and has raised $4 million in three rounds of outside funding, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. The company works with reseller, MSP and referral partners, providing sales, technical and marketing training and support, deal registration discounts and recurring revenue streams, according to the company’s website.

“Mimecast’s portfolio of solutions offers MessageControl the opportunity to expand its reach to protect even more organizations against the advanced threats plaguing the market today,” MessageControl founder and Chief Technology Officer Paul Everton said in a statement. “We’re excited to join the Mimecast team as we continue on our mission to stop social engineering and human identity attacks.”

MessageControl’s graph technology is engineered to inspect email attributes and content and then apply machine learning to build a library of known and unknown patterns for an individual user, according to Mimecast. The technology has the ability to get smarter over time and can make real-time decisions on more than a million unique user behavior data points, Mimecast said.

The MessageControl technology empowers employees to make better choices by providing them with more intelligence, contextual and dynamic warnings of potentially untrusted senders or content into emails, Mimecast found. MessageControl is built to notify employees before they accidentally send information to the wrong recipients by using historical sending patterns to predict future anomalies.

MessageControl has protected 50,000 accounts and neutralized 35 million threats with its three offerings, according to the company’s website. The company’s CodeBreaker tool reveals the hidden risks inside email communications so employees recognize and avert identity attacks by inserting real-time warnings into anomalous emails, MessageControl said.

Meanwhile, MessageControl said Silencer stops embedded email trackers—also known as spymail—from leaking an organization’s confidential data. Finally, Gatekeeper protects against misaddressed emails leaving the organization, according to MessageControl.

This is Mimecast‘s seventh acquisition since being founded 17 years ago, according to Crunchbase. The company kicked things off in November 2016 with its purchase of Costa Mesa, Calif.-based email and internet security provider iSheriff. Then in July 2018, Mimecast bought Bethesda, Md.-based security training startup Ataata to help customers mitigate risk and reduce employee security errors.

That same month, Mimecast acquired security software developer Solebit for $88 million to boost its protection capabilities against advanced cyberattacks, zero-day threats and malware. In January 2019, Mimecast purchased data migration technology provider Simply Migrate to help customers and prospects move to the cloud more quickly, reliably and inexpensively.

In November 2019, Mimecast acquired Hilversum, Netherlands-based DMARC Analyzer to reduce the time, effort and cost associated with stopping domain spoofing attacks. And two months later, Mimecast purchased Segasec to help customers better defend against attacks that leverage fake websites and domains for credential harvesting.