Human error is incredibly difficult to understand, let alone predict.

Changes in people's stress levels, morale, engagement and attention can lead to misdirected emails.

Whilst a growing number of enterprise processes are now being automated, email communication is currently still reliant on human interaction and judgement – all of which makes it particularly vulnerable to human error. No matter how structured or ingrained a process or behavior is, mistakes are inescapable, and inevitable.

The past year alone has shown this to be true:

  • Staff members at a major Australian bank mistakenly sent emails that contained data from over 10,000 customers to the wrong recipient, due to a slip-up in the domain name they typed. It later emerged that staff had inadvertently sent more than 600 internal emails to that same incorrect email address in the prior financial year alone. The bank ended up buying the incorrect domain name to prevent future mistakes.
  • An alert about an "active attacker" on a university campus in Canada was sent out by accident when the emergency templates were being updated. An employee said they hit the wrong key. There was no threat.

When thinking about information security, security officers and business leaders should focus on two simple questions:  

  1. What’s the most likely cause of data loss for our organization?
  2. What’s the maximum damage that this could cause?

Let’s take a small-scale example. Even for a small organization where each employee sends a moderate number of emails per day, the likelihood of a misdirected email is a near certainty. That risk rises dramatically with the size of an organization. Failing to address this risk effectively renders your entire information security framework redundant.

People are fallible. Telling them to simply be more careful doesn’t work.

Many employees manage their inbox on the move, replying to an urgent email after work on the train or at the bar, or communicating with international clients in the early hours of the morning. This makes them that much more likely to make a mistake, as they may not be fully paying attention.

 Interest over time for a Google search on "how to recall an email" from 2004 to present day →

Email remains the most ubiquitous form of business communication. It is not going away. In fact, usage is expected to increase. With an increased number of information transactions, there is quite simply a greater likelihood of data loss.

The ramifications of errors are increasing too as more unstructured data passes between employees. A spreadsheet with client data or highly-sensitive personal information inadvertently sent to the wrong person can be forwarded onto a competitor, or shared with a media publication.

Negative publicity, regulatory penalties and even the lost data itself can live on in the archives of the Internet forever.

With the average employee spending more than a quarter of their working hours reading and responding to email, anything that creates friction or forces behavior changes will be poorly received, and often ignored.

Our machine intelligent tools offer a revolutionary new form of data loss protection.

Tessian’s technology has been designed by a team of engineers, mathematicians and data scientists who have trained the platform’s machine learning algorithms. We have worked with professionals across a variety of sectors to create a system that is as unobtrusive as possible for employees and internal IT and information security administrators.

At the heart of Tessian’s technology is the application of machine learning to historical email data, in order to understand the typical sending patterns and behaviors of employees within the organization. This analysis allows Tessian to establish a baseline behavior for email communication in order to detect anomalies that may indicate misdirecting errors on outgoing emails.

In order to prevent inadvertent data loss through email, enterprises need software that is continually learning and adapting to their email network.

Schedule a demo now.