Tessian releases new solution to prevent spear phishing using machine intelligence

Tessian’s Stateful Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing enables Defender to automatically detect and prevent spear phishing attacks

LONDON – SEPTEMBER 24, 2018 – Tessian, the UK technology start-up transforming the way enterprises secure their communication channels, today announces the launch of Tessian Defender – a machine intelligent solution that automatically prevents strong-form impersonation spear phishing attacks.

Spear phishing involves attackers successfully impersonating the identity of an individual or corporation to trick a target into taking a particular kind of action (e.g. execute a wire transfer, share data, download malware etc.). The FBI estimates that Business Email Compromise due to spear phishing has cost businesses more than $12 billion between December 2016 and May 2018. Simple impersonation techniques are easily prevented by existing rule-based email security methods. However, more advanced strong-form impersonation tactics are on the rise and ever evolving, and they’re outmaneuvering rule-based defences.

A critical flaw in existing controls provided by email platforms and legacy Secure Email Gateways is the reliance on pre-defined, one-size-fits-all conditions to identify which emails are spear phishing and which are not. These systems have no context of historic email relationships in order to determine when the sender is authentic or, in fact, an impersonator. Rule-based systems require significant admin overhead, create large numbers of false positives and, crucially, are incapable of preventing spear phishing threats that use more sophisticated impersonation techniques.

To address these shortcomings, Tessian has developed a new approach – using machine intelligence – to thwart spear phishing. “At a technical level, legacy technology stacks find it difficult to query large datasets in real-time, which means it is often a challenge for systems to quickly recognise and filter phishing emails,” said Tim Sadler, co-founder and CEO of Tessian. “There are a number of strong-form impersonation techniques that will easily slip past traditional, rule-based email security systems.”

At the heart of Tessian’s technology is the Tessian Relationship Graph. By applying machine intelligence to historical email data, Tessian is able to develop an understanding of the relationships between employees and their email contacts, both internal and external. Tessian Defender also uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand content within an email and will automatically classify its intent, so it can provide more context to the end user within a warning message, and also highlight the specific risk to security teams.

For more information on Tessian Defender and how it can prevent a range of spear phishing techniques or to learn about Tessian’s other machine intelligent email security solutions, please visit the Tessian website: www.tessian.com

About Tessian

Tessian is building the world’s first Human Layer Security platform to fulfil our mission to keep the world’s most sensitive data and systems private and secure. Using stateful machine learning to analyze historical email data, Tessian’s Parallax Engine can predict for this user, at this point in time, does this email look like a security threat?