Tessian nabs $65M to solve cybersecurity’s ‘people problem’

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Enterprise-focused email security company Tessian has raised $65 million in a series C round of funding, and announced plans to expand into communication conduits beyond email.

Founded in 2013 originally as CheckRecipient before a rebrand five years later, London-based Tessian solves a number of security headaches for big businesses such as Arm, Prudential, Schroders, and Dentons.

In its original guise, Tessian was focused largely on the misaddressed email problem, whereby a company employee accidentally sends an email to the wrong person. Using machine learning, Tessian scans its customers’ historical email data to spot patterns and then applies that knowledge to identify anomalies in current email activities — it’s designed to stop sensitive data landing in the wrong inbox.

Above: Tessian prevents misaddressed emails

Today, Tessian offers a range of solutions across the email security spectrum, including threat prevention tools that cover business email compromise (BEC), account takeover (ATO), phishing, impersonation attacks, and more.

More broadly, Tessian serves up a human risk hub that gives security personnel data on their “email security posture” by providing detailed insights into risk levels at an individual level based on historical behaviors, while it also sends alerts to each employee before they carry out a risky action — these alerts are designed to coach employees on an ongoing basis.

Above: Tessian: “Human layer risk hub”

Attack vector

Prior to now, Tessian had raised around $59 million, and its latest cash injection saw return investments from Sequioa, Accel, Balderton Capital, and Latitude, as well as lead investor March Capital and Schroder Adveq. The company is now valued at $500 million.

Although companies face multiple security risks from just about every direction, insider (human) threats remain one of the biggest weaknesses companies need to address, while email specifically is one of the most consistently reliable attack vectors. Recent data from Trend Micro revealed that remote work increased high-risk email threats by 32% in 2020, with the bulk of the detected threats consisting of malicious URLs, phishing links, malware, and BEC attempts.

As Tessian notes, “employees are the gatekeepers to companies’ most sensitive systems and data,” which is why it’s expanding beyond email security into messaging and team collaboration platforms. Indeed, while email remains in rude health across the business sphere, workers are using an ever-growing combination of tools to communicate internally and externally, though Tessian stopped short of detailing which platforms it would support in the future.

Additionally, Tessian noted that it plans to double down on its email security credentials, and help companies “replace their secure email gateways and legacy data loss prevention solutions,” according to a blog post.


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