Cybersecurity provider Mimecast acquires Bethesda company


International email and data security company Mimecast Ltd. has acquired Ataata Inc., a Bethesda cybersecurity training and awareness platform.

Terms were not disclosed.

Ataata’s 20-person team will become part of Mimecast’s product management team. Ataata, founded in 2016, provides a cybersecurity education platform to protect against cyber threats caused by human error in the workplace. Earlier this year, the company received $200,000 in funding from the Maryland Technology Development Corp.

London-based Mimecast, which maintains a U.S. headquarters in the Boston area, sells a cloud-based email platform that protects clients from hacking or other digital compromise. Mimecast (NASDAQ: MIME) has about 1,200 employees and provides its services to about 30,000 companies across the globe.

Ataata CEO and co-founder Michael Madon said combining the services of Mimecast and Ataata will better help identify the human risk within an organization by taking the data collected through Ataata’s scoring system and comparing it against the data collected by Mimecast’s customer base, which shows where and how often attacks are leveraged within companies.

“Most security training is terrible and doesn’t work,” Madon said in a phone interview. “There’s a huge market out there that’s exactly right for this kind of product.”

According to a 2017 report by research company Gartner Inc., the security awareness computer-based training market will grow to over $1.1 billion by the end of 2020.

Over the last year, 90 percent of organizations saw an increase in phishing attacks with only 11 percent reporting they continuously train employees to spot the attacks, according to a research conducted by Mimecast with Vanson Bourne, a market research firm.

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“Cybersecurity awareness training has traditionally been viewed as a check the box action for compliance purposes…which just doesn’t work,” Peter Bauer, Mimecast founder and CEO said in a press release. “As cyberattacks continue to find new ways to bypass traditional threat detection methods, it’s essential to educate your employees in a way that changes behavior.”

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