Startup Corner: CheckRecipient in Focus
Contrary to the popular fears around data loss through hacking and other malicious attacks, misaddressed emails were the number one cause of digital data security incident reported to the ICO in 2016. CheckRecipient stops email data loss by analysing your outgoing email and automatically determining that you’re not sending content to the wrong person. You won’t even know the software is there until you’re just about to make that mistake – at which point our Guardian will pop up and check that you really do mean to send that message to that recipient. No constant nagging, no admin overhead for IT teams and no behavioural changes required – it’s there when you need it, but only when you need it.
And if you had to describe it to a techy?
Our software uses advanced machine learning and natural language processing techniques to learn what constitutes a normal pattern of email messaging behaviour. Whilst there is the ability to customise and add hard-rules to the system, our software is designed so that all the heavy lifting is done by the code; there’s no need to create long manual lists of thousands of rules and exceptions, removing the otherwise-signifiant burden on administrators.
When were you founded?
CheckRecipient was founded in 2013.
CheckRecipient was founded by a team of Imperial College engineers, Tim Sadler, our CEO, Ed Bishop our CTO and Tom Adams, our COO (as pictured above from left to right going clockwise). Whilst working at various investment banks, they realised the potential risks of inadvertent data loss via email and set about creating a solution that didn’t involve manual classification, user behaviour changes, or huge administrative burdens.
Who are your key managers/senior execs?
The three CheckRecipient founders form the main hands-on management of the company, but all of our high-achieving team have a significant impact on the company across business development , technology and operations.
What is your growth strategy?
Direct customer acquisition and we’re currently exploring partnership opportunities and marketing to expand our reach in 2017.
Have you received investment?
Yes, our current investors include Europe’s largest hedge fund and European Angel investors and until recently we’ve raised $977,340 from nine investors. We will shortly be announcing a significant new round of funding with world-leading investors.
Who are your target clients?
Anyone with cause to email sensitive data, from banks and financial institutions discussing confidential deals, to lawyers working on sensitive cases, and healthcare professionals using patients’ personal data. Many us of send multiple emails a day, and with even the most diligent employees – when the number of emails sent is in the tens of thousands – human errors will occur from time to time; and the severity of such an error is often only apparent after the event. Our target clients are everyone who might benefit from our Guardian acting as a non-intrusive safety net acting as a last line of defence.
Have there been any key changes in direction since you were founded?
No significant changes since the company was founded, other than switching from a predominant rules-based approach to a machine learning approach. However, we have an active product roadmap and will be expand our platform’s capability throughout 2017 to solve problems beyond misaddressed emails.
What are the key challenges you face in your market?
There’s a lot of fear induced irrationality in cybersecurity. There’s still a strong fear in the industry around malicious actors and state-sponsored hackers, but actually a company is far more likely to suffer a data breach from something they do every day and is susceptible to human error (e.g. misaddressed emails). We call this the car crash vs. shark attack analogy – people are generally terrified of sharks but far more likely to be hurt by the cars they drive every day.
What are the most exciting developments you’ve seen in your market in the past year to 18 months?
With high-profile incidents and fines, and preparation for incoming GDPR, we’re seeing a huge number of companies taking action to prevent their number one risk of data loss – misaddressed emails.
Tell us something that people don’t already know about the company?
Through pure coincidence, our company offices are located about 50 metres away from the kitchen table where the first line of code was written in 2013.
– We will be at RSA 2017 in San Francisco
– We’re currently a finalist in the 13th Annual 2017 Info Security Product Guide’s Global Excellence Awards for Security Startup of the Year
– In 2016, CheckRecipient was crowned “best machine intelligence startup” by Legal Geek and “best UK security startup” by WIRED UK
– In Jan 2017, our CEO (Tim Sadler) was named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in the European Tech space