Censornet acquires SMS PASSCODE

Acquisition will accelerate company’s global expansion and seize the market opportunity for a unified cloud security offering.

UK – 17 February 2016 – Censornet, the complete cloud security company, today announces that it has acquired Danish based multi-factor authentication vendor SMS PASSCODE in a closed deal. Censornet will integrate SMS PASSCODE’s adaptive multi-factor authentication technology into its cloud-based Unified Security Solution, which brings together email and web security with Cloud Application Control (CAC)[1].

The acquisition means that Censornet will now boast a truly global footprint, with over 4,000 customers across 40 countries; and will be protecting over one million users from its offices throughout EMEA and the US.

Commenting on the acquisition, Ed Macnair, CEO of Censornet says: “We are the first security vendor in the world to offer CAC integrated with web security. Building on our extensive technology experience and listening to our customers, we recognised that the growth of cloud applications use, together with an increasingly mobile workforce using multiple devices, are putting CIOs under immense pressure to simultaneously encourage productivity and protect sensitive data. Our vision is to provide organisations with a single pane of glass that gives them visibility and control of web, cloud applications and email. With weak or stolen passwords still being the major source of network breaches integrating SMS PASSCODE’s authentication capability to our solution was a no brainer.”

“Not only will our merged technologies give the enterprise complete control and visibility over what data their staff see, but give them absolute certainty as to who someone is and where they are. For example, they can now allow a certain file to be downloaded or printed when on the corporate network, but not when sat in an airport lounge,” says Macnair. “I am very excited about adding SMS PASSCODE to our portfolio. It is a significant step in completing our vision to provide our customers with a truly unified cloud security solution to help address the challenges of a digital work environment, and put us in the leading position in the CAC space.”

Talis Capital led the acquisition funding, following the Series A round completed in September 2015. Vasile Foca, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Talis Capital, explained “SMS Passcode provides excellent geographical, technological and commercial synergies with Censornet. The business will serve both Enterprises and SMEs, delivering the critical front-end authentication required to present a complete cloud-based, multi-tier, multi-tenant, Unified Security Service.”

Censornet’s management team is led by Ed Macnair, a serial security technology entrepreneur and IT expert with a proven track record of successfully developing technology companies, such as SaaSID, a single-sign on and application security vendor, which was acquired by Intermedia in 2013. He was previously CEO of Marshal, a global IT security company which merged with US based 8e6 Technologies to form M86 Security which was acquired by Trustwave in 2012. “Ed has been instrumental in evolving Censornet since acquiring it in late 2014, in particular into the US market, and has steered the company to reach this crucial point for the next stage of growth” comments Vasile Foca.

Garrett Bekker, Senior Analyst at 451 Research comments: “Enterprises can derive more value from security when they can see the complete, bigger picture. While CAC products can provide part of that picture by helping improve visibility and dealing with ‘Shadow IT’, enterprises will ultimately need to combine CAC with other techniques such as multi-factor authentication to obtain a more holistic view of their overall SaaS security posture.”

David Hald, Chief Relationship Officer at SMS PASSCODE comments: “Governments, telcos, financial institutions and forward-thinking organisations in more than 40 countries are already using SMS PASSCODE’s secure, easy-to-main and cost-effective offering to securely authenticate access to services while preventing identity theft. Censornet and SMS PASSCODE have complementary technologies to protect enterprises against deliberate and inadvertent security breaches and by offering our integrated technologies on one single security platform we will provide organisations an even better solution to protect themselves from the modern scourge of cloud applications.”

CIOs and IT departments are under increasing pressure to provide employees with reliable and secure web access, whilst controlling the use of cloud applications; all without compromising data security and preventing the spread of Shadow IT. Instead of going through the red tape of IT procurement, provisioning, testing and security, employees are quick to download the latest app to access or share data. Such a quick fix can have damaging implications on a company’s most valuable corporate assets – its intellectual property and brand reputation. Research has also shown that 43 per cent of C-level executives say negligent insiders are the greatest threat to sensitive data[2]. However, despite improved security education and awareness within businesses, the reality is that three quarters of network intrusions involve weak or stolen passwords[3]; highlighting the market requirements for a product that integrates multifactor authentication into a cloud based Unified Security Solution.

SMS PASSCODE is a technology leader in adaptive multi-factor authentication, improving enterprise security and productivity by delivering an easy-to-use and intelligent solution that helps ensure the safety of corporate networks and applications. Its solution authenticates users through their mobile devices, helping IT managers address evolving business needs with cloud applications and mobile security by dynamically authenticating users based on geo-location and login behaviour patterns.

Censornet was the first security vendor to offer Secure Web Gateway solution with inbuilt Cloud Application Control, offering cost efficiencies to businesses wanting to plug the widening security risk gap caused by cloud applications. Its cloud based Unified Security Solution combines web security, cloud application and email security on one single security platform; providing senior management with greater visibility and much better control to IT in the supervision of company-wide internet access and the use of cloud applications across all devices, regardless of whether users are in-office or mobile.


[1] According to Censornet, Cloud Application Control is a technology that sits between the enterprise and a SaaS application. CAC provides visibility of cloud application use and helps enterprises control and address the security, audit, compliance and productivity issues associated with cloud application use

[2] According to data breach statistics from IBM

[2] Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 2013

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