MessageLabs Buys Image Analysis Vendor for E-Mail Security

MessageLabs has purchased a provider of image analysis technology to improve its e-mail security offerings. The company says technology from Fortium ICA will help secure e-mail by preventing unauthorized images from entering or leaving enterprise networks.

MessageLabs has acquired United Kingdom-based Fortium ICA Limited in a bid to broaden its ability to enforce e-mail security policies using image composition analysis.

The acquisition, made for an undisclosed sum, is intended to strengthen MessageLabs' position as a provider of SAAS (software-as-a-service) security solutions. MessageLabs was an early investor in Fortium ICA, which operated as a subsidiary of Fortium Technologies Limited. Fortium Technologies specializes in video copy control and fingerprint detection and will continue to operate on its own.

"Our customers look to MessageLabs to help them protect and control their corporate e-mail, Web and IM usage," said Stephen Chandler, chief financial officer of MessageLabs, in a statement. "Controlling the distribution of inappropriate or confidential images is an important part of protecting a business from legal liability, damaged reputation and loss of intellectual property. Fortium ICA's image technology is the most advanced in the market today and we're excited to have their team and technology as part of MessageLabs."

Fortium ICA's image control analysis technology has actually been employed in MessageLabs' Image Control service for several years. The service prevents unwanted or offensive images from entering or leaving a corporate network and is fully integrated into MessageLabs portfolio of managed services centrally accessed through one client portal and policy engine, company officials said.

"We look forward to continuing to invest in and develop this best-of-breed technology for image analysis, together with our core intellectual property around messaging security," Chandler said.