Tessian Raises $65M Series C to Advance Security at the Human Layer

MAY 25, 2021

The round was led by March Capital alongside existing investors Balderton, Latitude, Sequoia Capital and Accel and new investor Schroder Adveq.

Tessian is pioneering a new approach to cybersecurity and defining a new category of security software called Human Layer Security. Today, 90% of today’s data breaches are caused by some form of human error because, for decades, cybersecurity software has focused on the machine layer of an organization and not the most vulnerable asset: the people.

This new round of funding brings Tessian's total funding to date to over $120M. Balderton led Tessian's Series A in 2018.

Today, 90% of today’s data breaches are caused by some form of human error because, for decades, cybersecurity software has focused on the machine layer of an organization and not the most vulnerable asset: the people.

Suranga Chandratillake talks to Tim Sadler at the 2018 Balderton Collective CEO Retreat

While organizations have traditionally relied on training programs or restricting people’s access to data and systems to overcome the so-called “people problem” in security, Tessian uses machine learning to stop data breaches and security threats caused by human error - without disrupting employee workflow. It builds Behavioral Intelligence Models, tailored to every employee, by analyzing individuals’ communication patterns and behaviors online. Tessian uses the models to automatically detect security threats and prevents them from turning into breaches by notifying the employee of the
risk in-the-moment. Over time, these alerts help employees improve their security behaviors.

Machine Learning has created an entirely new way to reason about and solve complex, multi-variable problems. Understanding how and why people communicate with each other in a modern enterprise is just that sort of problem and Tessian brings a super-powered precision toolkit to the challenge against legacy players who, at best, have a sledgehammer. With the latest round of financing, it is difficult to see how older market participants or others who have attempted to copy Tessian's approach will be able to surmount their sales and machine learning data moat.

Suranga Chandratillake, Balderton Capital

Today, Tessian secures people on email - where they spend over 40% of their time at work - and automatically prevents threats such as phishing, business email compromise, data exfiltration and accidental data loss. After deploying Tessian, enterprises see, on average, an 84% reduction in data exfiltration and phishing simulation click-through rates drop to less than 1%.

The need for greater visibility of human-activated security risks, and mitigations of these threats, was brought into sharp focus last year following the shift to remote work. Research revealed that employees were less likely to follow safe data practices when working from home, while the number of phishing attacks doubled in 2020.

In fact, in the last year, Tessian tripled its Fortune 500-level customer base as enterprises required a solution that could protect them against human layer security threats. Tessian now has approximately 350 global customers across the legal, financial services, healthcare and technology sectors including Affirm, Investec and RealPage.

In the same way we have firewalls to secure networks, and endpoint detection and response platforms to secure devices, enterprises now need advanced security technology to secure their people. People make 35,000 decisions every day; it just takes one wrong decision or one instance of human error for an employee to cause a catastrophic security breach. We’re tackling the biggest threat to enterprise security, and are thrilled to partner with March Capital on our Series C and have them join our mission to secure the human layer.

Tim Sadler, Co-Founder and CEO at Tessian

With the new funding, Tessian will expand its platform’s capabilities, helping companies replace their secure email gateways and legacy data loss prevention solutions, and will soon expand beyond email to secure other interfaces like messaging, web and collaboration platforms. Tessian will also use the funding to triple its rapidly growing employee base, with a particular focus on growing its sales team in North America.

Read about the news in Fortune.

Read the news on Tessian's site.

Read the Tessian press release.

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