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How Tessian Is Preventing Advanced Impersonation Attacks in Manufacturing

  • By Maddie Rosenthal
  • 12 January 2021

Tessian’s mission is to secure the human layer by empowering people to do their best work, without security getting in their way.

Company: SPG Dry Cooling
Industry: Manufacturing
Seats: 368
Solutions: Defender

About SPG Dry Cooling

SPG Cooling is an innovative, global leading manufacturer of air-cooled condensers that has been providing exceptional quality equipment to coal, oil, and gas industrial plants for over a century. They employee a global workforce and have over 1,000 customer references.

We talked to Thierry Clerens, Global IT Manager at SPG Dry Cooling, to learn more about the problems Tessian helps solve and why he chose Tessian Defender over other solutions. 

Problem: The most advanced threats can slip past other controls 

Phishing is a big problem across all industries. 

But, because inbound email attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated and hackers continue using tactics like domain impersonation and email spoofing, Thierry knew he needed to implement a new solution that could stop the phishing emails that might slip past his O365 controls and trained employees.

He cited one specific incident where a hacker impersonated a company in SPG Cooling’s supply chain and attempted to initiate a wire transfer.  How? A tiny, difficult-to-spot change in the domain name. 

“They created a fake domain with exactly the same name as the real user. But the top-level domain .tr was missing at the end. So it was just .com. No user – not even IT! – is looking at the domain name that closely. They tried to get us to deliver money to another account,” Thierry explained.

While the attack wasn’t successful (SPG Dry Cooling has strong policies and procedures in place to confirm the legitimacy of requests like this) he wanted to level-up his inbound email security and help users spot these advanced impersonation attacks. So, he invested in Tessian.

Thierry explained why. 

“Tessian catches the high-level phishing attacks. These are the ones that we can’t catch. The ones even IT has to really look for. For example, a spoofing attack. A person will see the email address and think it’s from the “real” sender. But Tessian can spot that it’s a spoof. It can see that the mail server of the “new” sender doesn’t match the normal server. Tessian finds what’s off behind the email.”
Thierry Clerens Global IT Manager at SPG Dry Cooling

Tessian Defender analyzes up to 12 months of historical email data to learn what “normal” looks like. It then uses natural language processing, behavioral analysis, and communication analysis to determine if a particular email is suspicious or not in real-time.

To learn more, read the data sheet

Problem: You can’t train employees to spot all phishing attacks

Tessian also helps employees get better at spotting malicious emails with in-the-moment warnings (written in plain English) that reinforce training by explaining exactly why an email is being flagged.

Here is an example:

Tessian Defender warnings are written in easy-to-understand language to help reinforce security awareness training.

This feature is especially important to Thierry, who values phishing awareness training but understands it has to be ongoing. 

“We like to empower our users and we like that, with Tessian, our users learn and become better and better and better. That’s what we’re trying to do at SPG Dry Cooling. We’re trying to train and educate our users as much as possible. We’re trying to be innovative in the ways that we get our users, our company, our members, everybody, to better themselves,” he said.

In evaluating solutions, he wanted something that would protect his people, while also empowering them to make smarter security decisions.

He found that in Tessian, explaining that “the most interesting feature for me is the user education. You have to train your users. You have to help them get better at spotting threats by helping them understand the threats. Tessian does that.”

Problem: It’s nearly impossible for IT teams to manually investigate all potential inbound threats

Before Tessian, Thierry and his team had to manually investigate all emails that employees flagged as suspicious. With limited time and resources – and given the fact that “some are really good and are even hard for IT people to find” – it was nearly impossible for them to keep up. 

“The limitation of manually looking at all these emails was that it really hangs on the person. And humans can make mistakes.”
Thierry Clerens Global IT Manager at SPG Dry Cooling

Thierry explained that Tessian extends the capabilities of his team. How? 

  1. It automatically detects and prevents threats
  2. Domains can be added to the denylist in a single click, before they even land in employee’s mailboxes
  3. Tessian dashboards make it easy for IT to see trends and create targeted security campaigns to help educate users. 

Tessian was also easy to deploy.

“As a part of our proof of concept, Tessian started ingesting historical data about employee’s IP addresses, what emails they normally send, who they normally communicate with. We saw how it was helping in just a few weeks. After that, we connected Tessian to Office 36. It took just 15 minutes,” he said. 

Learn more about how Tessian prevents human error on email

Powered by machine learning, Tessian’s Human Layer Security technology understands human behavior and relationships.

Importantly, Tessian’s technology automatically updates its understanding of human behavior and evolving relationships through continuous analysis and learning of an organization’s email network. That means it gets smarter over time to keep you protected, wherever and however your work.

Interested in learning more about how Tessian can help prevent email mistakes in your organization? You can read some of our customer stories here or book a demo.

SPG Dry Cooling Case Study

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Maddie Rosenthal