The coronavirus pandemic has driven a vast number of changes in the world of business, including a probable global recession. But perhaps the most noticeable in day-to-day life is the move to working from home.
With remote working comes a series of new challenges, for businesses and employees alike. One of the most significant of those challenges is cybersecurity – something companies have struggled with for many years now and a problem which is only exacerbated through remote working.
Most companies – even those progressive organisations that encouraged remote working before the pandemic – never planned for more than a small proportion of their staff to work away from the office and their corporate networks.
One of the main ways in which organisations are exposed to cybersecurity risk and data loss is through emails. Business email compromise, as it is known, usually involves persuading people to click links or open attachments that compromise the recipient’s device – often stealing data in the process.
Given the legal, regulatory and reputational ramifications of a data breach, not to mention the business interruption they often cause, protecting organisations from this type of threat is hugely important and valuable.
This was an important consideration before the pandemic, and it’s even more so now. Tim Sadler, CEO of email security company Tessian, told ITPro – after it emerged that the BBC receives over a quarter of a million malicious email attacks every day – employees are “busier and more distracted than usual” when working from home.
“Using clever social engineering techniques, cybercriminals prey on people’s desire for information during uncertain times, and bank on the fact that busy, distracted and stressed employees may miss the signs of a phishing email and fall for their scams,” Sadler told ITPro. “Organisations, therefore, must have security measures in place to automatically predict such email threats and warn people before they click or download an attachment.”
Sadler knows a thing or two about the subject: he’s in charge of a company that’s grown massively recently, driven in part by the increased need for email security as we’ve all locked down. According to research carried out by The Times, Tessian’s sales have grown by 237.59% in the past three years – making it the third-fastest growing British private technology company.
Its growth and success fit into a wider trend of technology companies thriving during the pandemic even where many others have struggled. This reflects the way in which life – retail spending, entertainment, work – has become largely digitalised. Digital life requires all sorts of support networks and services, and Tessian is one of those companies.
Bucking the trend
The necessity for companies like Tessian to support our newly-digital lives has translated into big sales. According to The Times’s research, it bagged nearly £9 million in sales last year – not bad for a company with fewer than 150 staff (at last count) and which only formed in 2013. Its success has earned it the backing of several big-name investors – including partners at Sequoia and Balderton Capital.
Of course, with growth and success comes the need for new staff. At the time of writing, the firm is advertising 21 roles, split between its offices London and San Francisco. Quite a large proportion of those are engineering roles, including positions both in frontend and backend. And the company hopes to bring in a London-based senior product designer role, too, to help it move from the startup stage to scaleup phase.
These listings – and Tessian’s success – go to show once again how tech companies are bucking the trend and thriving. As The Times describes it, tech is a “bright spot amid the gloom”. It’s good news for the UK generally, and particularly for UK tech and digital workers.