peter bauer

Email security company Mimecast has acquired US-based Ataata, a two year old cybersecurity training and awareness platform seeking to reduce human error in the workplace.

The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, but it’s worth noting that Mimecast, co-founded by Peter Bauer and Neil Murray in 2003, has secured more than $89m in funding to date. The firm IPO’ed in New York’s infamous Nasdaq exchange a few years ago.

Mimecast’s backers include Index Ventures – which recently raised a $1.65bn tech investment fund – Dawn Capital and Insight Venture Partners.

Bauer commented on the transaction and the state of the cybersecurity market: “Cybersecurity awareness training has traditionally been viewed as a check the box action for compliance purposes, boring videos with PhDs rambling about security or even less than effective gamification which just doesn’t work.

“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 behaviour,” Bauer, also the chief executive officer, said.

“According to a report from Gartner, the security awareness computer-based training market will grow to more than $1.1bn by year-end 2020. 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.”

Michael Madon, chief executive officer and co-founder of Ataata, also commented on the news.

“Human error is involved in the majority of all security breaches, and these casual mistakes can cost organisations money, their reputation – and employees, potentially their job.

“Organisations need to understand that employees are their last line of defence. Cybersecurity training and awareness doesn’t need to be difficult or boring. Training and awareness is needed to help mitigate these internal risks.

“Our customers rely on engaging content at the human level, which helps to change behaviour at the employee-level. 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,” Madon concluded.

Ataata raised $3m from investors including SaaS Ventures and Next Frontier Capital.