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Tessian Launches Industry-First Solution to Detect and Prevent Email Attachment Anomalies

Product launch is accompanied by new research that shows one-third of U.S. organizations have lost customers following email attachment errors

Human Layer Security company Tessian announces a new, industry-first feature that accurately detects attachment anomalies on email and allows employees to correct their mistakes before data falls into the wrong inbox. The new feature will be part of Tessian’s accidental data loss solution Guardian, providing organizations with a complete data loss prevention solution.

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An Underestimated Risk

New data from Tessian also reveals that nearly half of UK and U.S. employees (48%) admit to attaching wrong files in emails, while 42% have sent attachments to the wrong person, proving the need for this feature.

In US organizations, 42% of documents sent in error contained company research and data. Most worryingly, nearly two-fifths (39%) of misattached files contained security information such as passwords and passcodes, while 38% contained financial information and client information. Thirty-six percent of mistakenly attached documents contained employee data.

The consequences go beyond embarrassment or a frantic recall; sending a misattached file to an external recipient could result in loss of IP, reputational damage, or fines for non-compliance. In fact, a third of respondents (33%) said their company lost a customer or client following this case of human error, and a further 31% said their company faced legal action. Nearly a quarter of employees (24%) said they’d lost their job because of their attachment blunder.

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An Industry-First Solution

Despite how often attachment mistakes occur, or the damage they can cause, there has never been a security solution to prevent employees from sending the wrong attachment – until today. No other solution in the market uses machine learning (ML) to automatically detect and prevent the error of people accidentally sharing the wrong files over email.

By understanding individuals’ behaviors on email, Tessian continually learns what “normal” communication patterns and relationships look like for each and every employee. When a person clicks ‘send’ on an email containing an attachment, Tessian’s ML algorithm performs a check, in real-time, using attachment scanning, deep content inspection, natural language processing, and heuristics to detect any attachment anomalies. It assesses whether the attachment is:

  • related to a company or individual that is deemed unusual for the email recipients;
  • a type of file that has never been shared with the recipients in the past;
  • related to a project that would appear unusual for the recipients.

When a misattached file is detected, the sender is immediately alerted to the error before the email is sent. The feature causes minimal disruption to people’s workflows, sitting silently in the background and only alerting an employee if and when they need to remediate a problem.

Ed Bishop, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Tessian, said, “Until now, it’s been impossible to solve for data loss caused by attachment errors. We are giving people, and their employers, peace of mind that the data they control won’t end up in the wrong hands. Given that most misattached files go undetected, we’re also providing companies greater visibility into a largely invisible problem. Our research reveals that one in 10 employees did not report their attachment mistakes. You can’t protect what you can’t see. So, with greater insight into people’s behaviors on email, we can help organizations prevent this common mistake before it turns into a serious breach.”

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