Can Phishing Simulations Help Reduce Cyber Risk?

In a previous article we talked about what cybersecurity awareness training is and how it has helped organizations and their employees be aware and prepared for the never ending attempts to breach security. 

In this article we will focus on phishing simulations and how they help employees a) identify phishing attempts b) learn to report suspicious emails. 

Cybersecurity Awareness Training Programs 

Before we get into the details of how phishing simulations are helpful to employees, lets recap what cybersecurity awareness training and testing programs are. 

Cybersecurity awareness training programs are designed to help an organization’s employees understand cyber hygiene, the cybersecurity risks of their actions and to help them identify cyber attacks via email, the web and other means used by cybercriminals. There are two main components of these programs: Education and simulation. 

Training/Education 

The programs generally have training platforms with short educational and engaging videos and materials. The videos are separated into different cybersecurity topics. Employees are normally assigned the trainings in small increments so that they are not overwhelmed, thus increasing the absorption of the individual topics. Each topic is followed by a short quiz to ensure that the topic has been understood by the individual.  

Phishing Simulations 

Campaigns using realistic phishing email templates or actual phishing emails that have had the malicious links deactivated, are sent to employees. Normally, the email phishing campaigns are staggered so that employees receive the email at differing times. The goal is to determine if certain employees need additional training or tips to minimize the risks of someone clicking on a real phishing email. 

Scenarios 

There are different email scenarios that can occur in a business or organization. The results will differ depending on the actions of an individual. 

At any given time, the inbox of a user may consist of a legitimate email, a real phishing email and possibly a phishing simulation email. Let’s look at the different scenarios based on the actions of a user to determine what the results would be. 

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Scenario 3

As we can see, the above scenarios highlight the importance of cybersecurity training and phishing simulations to help employees build the habits needed to reduce the risks of phishing attacks.

To learn more about cybersecurity awareness training and phishing simulation programs, contact MicroAge today. We are here to help.

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With a growing Network of independently owned locations (currently at 41) from coast-to-coast, MicroAge is Canada’s leading IT solutions and service provider focused mainly on small and midmarket businesses.

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