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AT&T Acquires AlienVault, Mimecast Grabs Ataata

In an effort to expand its security solutions to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), global communications, media and entertainment and technology company AT&T has announced that it will acquire California-based security solutions company AlienVault.

Combining AlienVault's threat intelligence offerings with its existing portfolio of cybersecurity solutions, AT&T hopes to deliver a unified security management platform for its business customers. This acquisition will hopefully benefit AT&T’s SMB customers, as SMBs are increasingly the target of attacks. A 2017 Ponemon Institute study found that more than 61% of SMBs had been breached, an increase of six points since 2016.

“Regardless of size or industry, businesses today need cyber threat detection and response technologies and services,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO, AT&T Business, in a press release. “The current threat landscape has shifted this from a luxury for some, to a requirement for all."

“AlienVault’s expertise in threat intelligence will improve our ability to help organizations detect and respond to cybersecurity attacks," Arroyo continued. "Together, with our enterprise-grade detection, response and remediation capabilities, we’re providing scalable, intelligent, affordable security for business customers of all sizes.”

Commenting on why the acquisition matters, Danessa Lambdin, VP of cybersecurity solutions, AT&T said, "Threat intelligence relies on real-time analysis of vast amounts of data; identifying abnormalities is key to a business’s ability to respond to a cyber-attack. Small to midsize business will have access to the same types of security tools and services that large enterprise companies have adopted in recent years."

In related news, email security firm Mimecast announced it acquired Ataata Inc., a cybersecurity training-and-awareness platform to help combat security breaches caused by employee mistakes.

According to recent research from Mimecast, 90% of organizations have experienced an increase in phishing attacks; however, only 11% continuously train employees about how to spot cyber-attacks.

“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,” said Peter Bauer, CEO and founder of Mimecast 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."

Additional acquisitions in the cybersecurity industry were announced today with Bomgar acquiring Avecto to augment its identity and access management solutions. In today’s blog post announcing the news, Bomgar credited Gartner in recognizing “privileged access threat landscape is growing with a higher risk of enabling cyberattacks and severe consequences.”

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