Company adds AI, machine learning muscle in stopping phishing and other threats
Mimecast is bolstering its e-mail security capabilities through the acquisition of MessageControl, a company whose solutions leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to thwart e-mail phishing and social engineering attacks.
The Lowdown: Mimecast officials said the combination of the two companies will help customers that are using such productivity apps as Microsoft 365 better protect against advanced phishing and impersonation attacks, prevent the inadvertent loss of data, and add more sensor capabilities to the company’s threat intelligence technology. No financial details of the deal were announced this week.
The Details: MessageControl – also known as eTorch – brings a number of capabilities to Mimecast, including:
> Graph technology: MessageControl’s offering inspects e-mail attributes and content and then uses machine learning to build a library of known and unknown patterns for individual users. It’s designed to get smarter over time and can make real-time decisions on more than a billion user behavior data points.
> Contextual warnings: By providing intelligent and contextual warnings regarding untrusted senders or content in e-mails, the solution is designed to help employees make better choices.
> Notifications: MessageControl’s graph technology uses historical sending patterns to predict future anomalies and notifies employees before they accidentally send information to the wrong people, preventing errors that can lead to data leaks.
The Impact: A recent report from Mimecast, with U.S. headquarters in Lexington, Massachusetts, found a rise in impersonation fraud (of 60%), phishing (58%), and internal threats and data leaks (43%) over the past year. These are the types of risks that MessageControl’s technology is designed to address.
Background: The MessageControl acquisition dovetails with Mimecast’s Email Security 3.0 initiative, a strategy introduced in October 2019 that’s aimed at protecting e-mail at the perimeter against spam, viruses, malware, and impersonation attacks; inside the perimeter against employee errors, credential harvesting, and social engineering; and beyond the perimeter from spoofed or hijacked domains or brands that are used to defraud customers and partners.
The Buzz: “The first half of 2020 has been unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s becoming increasingly clear that better innovation is required to protect against the latest weaponized and unweaponized attacks,” Mimecast CEO Peter Bauer said. “MessageControl is a natural complement to Mimecast’s suite of cyberresilience solutions – from e-mail and web security through brand protection, security awareness training, and data protection. 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. We believe this acquisition allows Mimecast to continue to evolve our Email Security 3.0 strategy and provide the best protection for productivity cloud applications like Microsoft 365.”
“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,” said Paul Everton, founder and CTO of MessageControl. “We’re excited to join the Mimecast team as we continue on our mission to stop social engineering and human identity attacks.”