FrontBridge buys MessageRite

E-mail security company FrontBridge Technologies has bought MessageRite, a maker of technology for archiving e-mail and instant messages, FrontBridge said Monday.

The purchase, for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock, concluded August 9, and adds MessageRite's technology for storing electronic messages and evaluating regulatory compliance to FrontBridge's portfolio of e-mail services, which includes antivirus, antispam and policy enforcement.

The acquisition comes as more companies, driven by new federal regulations and fear of business disruptions such as natural or human-made disasters, look to service providers for help managing huge volumes of saved electronic communications, said Dan Nadir, vice president of product management at FrontBridge.

FrontBridge will use MessageRite's technology to offer disaster recovery and business continuity services to its customers, complementing its other services, including a new managed "desktop-to-desktop" secure e-mail service, FrontBridge Secure Email. That service, offered by FrontBridge and technology partner Voltage Security, will encrypt e-mail traffic from source to destination.

With MessageRite's technology added to FrontBridge, customers will be able to manage a number of different messaging functions from a single Web interface, doing everything from setting security policies to adjusting antispam filters and searching archived e-mail and instant message content, Nadir said.

FrontBridge is hoping the new services will also provide it with new revenue from existing customers, such as VeriSign and Sprint, which have OEM (original equipment manufacturer) relationships with FrontBridge to resell the company's antivirus and antispam services, he said.

The MessageRite technology will be particularly interesting to financial services companies that must comply with regulations from the National Association of Securities Dealers, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Nadir said.

Those regulations require financial services companies to develop clear policies for preserving and reproducing electronic communications.

MessageRite, with eight employees, was attractive to FrontBridge because the companies have similar customers, mostly small and medium-sized financial services companies. MessageRite also uses a similar service model to FrontBridge, intercepting e-mail and instant message traffic on servers in its own data centers, then archiving those communications before passing them along to their intended recipient, Nadir said.

While FrontBridge and MessageRite share some customers, the acquisition will add 40 customers to FrontBridge's roster, Nadir said. FrontBridge will consolidate MessageRite's services on its own distributed network of data centers in the U.S. and U.K., the company said.

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