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Start-up snapshot: Tessian

Posted on Nov 22, 2021 by Verity Butler

Tessian CEO, Tim Sadler talks to FEED about how the UK and US based start-up came to be in 2013. He also unveils the secrets behind its unprecedented global success

What is the company’s origin story?

My name is Tim Sadler and I am the CEO for Tessian. While working for some of the world’s largest banks, Tessian’s co-founders saw a problem. Despite millions of dollars spent on security solutions, data breaches continued to rise. Why? Because cybersecurity software has traditionally focused on protecting the machine layer of an organisation – the networks and devices – but not the human layer. People make thousands of decisions every day. There’s always the possibility they will compromise company security by making mistakes, breaking the rules or being tricked by a cybercriminal.

Most organisations try to combat human error by removing access to systems and data, or training people to do the right thing 100% of the time. But this isn’t working and is impeding productivity. The founders created Tessian with a mission to secure the human layer by empowering people to do their best work, without security getting in their way.

What projects are currently happening?

Tessian is pioneering a new approach to cybersecurity and defining a new category of security software called Human Layer Security. Using machine-learning technology, we automatically predict and eliminate advanced threats on email caused by human error – like data exfiltration, accidental data loss, business email compromise and phishing attacks – with minimal disruption to employee workflow. Today, Tessian secures people on email – because that’s where they spend over 40% of their time at work, and it’s one of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to hack. But there are plans to expand.

Future-wise, what’s next?

Having raised its Series C funding in May 2021, Tessian has plans to expand its platform’s capabilities beyond email, securing other interfaces like messaging, web and collaboration platforms from incidents of human error. The goal is to help companies replace their secure email gateways, and legacy data loss prevention solutions, so they can effectively secure the human layer.

What does the company need right now?

People! We want talent to join our journey, as we look to triple our rapidly growing employee base over the next few years – particularly in North America. If you’re interested, get in touch!

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This article first featured in the autumn 2021 issue of FEED magazine.

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