Human Layer Security company Tessian announces that it has raised $65 million in Series C venture capital funding to accelerate its mission of quantifying and preventing human risk in global enterprises, and empowering people to do their best work without security getting in the way.
The round is led by March Capital, a venture-growth firm which has previously invested in cybersecurity unicorns such as CrowdStrike and KnowBe4. Existing Tessian investors Accel, Balderton Capital, Latitude and Sequoia Capital also participated in the Series C funding round, along with new investor Schroder Adveq, bringing Tessian’s total funding to-date to over $120 million. The deal values Tessian at $500 million.
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.
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.
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 their company 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.
One customer, Tim Fitzgerald, CISO at Arm said, “The security of our operations and data is paramount to the success of Arm, and we’re committed to empowering our people to make sound security decisions while doing their jobs effectively. The concept of human layer security is becoming a critical part of doing business today, and Tessian enables us to reduce risk across the organization by providing valuable tools and knowledge to not only stop threats like advanced phishing attacks and accidental data loss, but also continually improve the security behaviors of our teams as the threat landscape evolves.”
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.
Jamie Montgomery, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at March Capital said, “Human activity – whether inadvertent or malicious – is the leading cause of data breaches. In Tessian, we found a best-in-class solution that automatically stops threats in real-time, without disrupting the normal flow of business. It is rare to hear such overwhelmingly positive feedback from CISOs and business users alike. We came to the same conclusion; Tessian is rapidly emerging as the leader in human layer security for the enterprise.”
Tim Sadler, Co-Founder and CEO at Tessian said, “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.”
Tessian’s funding announcement closely follows the news that Ramin Sayer, CEO and president of Sumo Logic, has joined Tessian’s Board of Directors.