Israel’s Checkmarx buys UK cyber-education firm
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Israel’s Checkmarx buys UK cyber-education firm

Israeli startup says Codebashing software will help programmers, uses gamification to keep ’em trained

Checkmarx Central Scanning Mode Architecture (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Checkmarx Central Scanning Mode Architecture (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Israeli cybersecurity startup Checkmarx, said Monday it has acquired Codebashing, a UK based application security education company for an undisclosed amount of money, in a move that will complement Checkmark’s range of products for clients.

This is Checkmark’s first acquisition, and market sources estimated the deal in a range of $5 million to $10 million, with the final amount depending on milestones reached.

Checkmarx addresses what turns out to be a major problem in the information technology world — namely, programmers and tech staff who forget the importance of security while writing software. This company’s software allows programmers to scan their programming code against a checklist of vulnerabilities, and highlights potential security breaches in their work, giving software developers the opportunity to correct their programs before they are released.

The need to continuously update programmers’ training to ensure that their code addresses the latest threats is also a problem tackled by Codebashing. The company essentially trains developers for cybersecurity while coding, using a game-like app.

Emmanuel Benzaquen CEO of Checkmarx (Courtesy)
Emmanuel Benzaquen CEO of Checkmarx (Courtesy)

Traditional secure coding education is ineffective and cannot scale to deliver continuous and across the board secure coding knowledge, Checkmarx said in a statement. Long training courses disrupt the developer’s daily routine and do not address the given challenge as it appears. In addition, participants tend to retain only a fraction of the material they learn in between the traditional annual training cycles.

Codebashing delivers an interactive training software that is built by developers for the needs of developers, Checkmarx said. Education via gamification saves precious time and eliminates the need for expensive secure coding courses where much of the material is likely irrelevant. This approach allows organizations to implement secure coding training, but without disrupting the daily workflow.

By enabling developers to deliver secure applications, the acquisition will allow Checkmarx to introduce continuous, in-context, bite-sized secure coding training into its software, the company said.

“Effective training allows enterprises to grow their in-house security skills, which results in fewer vulnerabilities being introduced into code in the first place,” the company said in the statement.

Among Checkmarx 1,000 customers are five of the world’s top 10 software vendors, four of the top American banks, and many Fortune 500 and government organizations, including SAP, Samsung, and Salesforce.com, the statement said.

“Checkmarx has been addressing the security skill challenge for over a decade and once we saw the value we can deliver to our customers by integrating Codebashing’s platform within our solution offering we knew this would be a game changer for the industry,” said Emmanuel Benzaquen CEO of Checkmarx.

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