Don’t Get Hooked: How Phishing Simulations Boost Cybersecurity Awareness and Resilience
Cybersecurity is one of the most important things for any business to consider in 2024. After all, as technology becomes more and more advanced, attackers will find new ways to target and threaten organisations with powerful attacks and other new technologies.
However, there’s one kind of attack that will always be relevant no matter how much technology advances. Social engineering attacks play on human error and emotion — and phishing attacks are up there as some of the most common kinds of social engineering.
In this article, we’ll cover how you can utilise phishing simulations to be able to boost your organisation’s cybersecurity awareness and posture, as well as some of the best practices to make sure that your phishing simulations are effective and have a positive impact on your organisation.
Benefits of Phishing Simulations
Assess the current level of cybersecurity awareness
The best way to beat social engineering attacks is to ensure that your organisation has a high level of cybersecurity awareness. By doing so, you essentially take away the best weapon that an attacker can have — their ability to catch an unsuspecting victim.
By using phishing simulations, you can assess your organisation’s general cybersecurity awareness and use that information to help strategise and educate going forward. This also applies to other kinds of cybersecurity — a phishing simulation will be able to help you work out general cybersecurity awareness and work towards creating a more cybersecurity-aware environment.
Educate employees on how to recognise and avoid phishing attacks
Educating your employees on phishing attacks and how to identify and avoid them is vital to ensuring that you don’t get hit by one. After all, phishing prays on unsuspecting victims who don’t know they’re falling victim to an attack, meaning that education is the best way to counteract this.
Employees will be more empowered to know when something is a phishing attack and the steps to take to avoid being manipulated by one, which will greatly reduce the risk of an employee being blindsided by one in the future.
Measure the effectiveness of cybersecurity training
Cybersecurity training should be both at a high level and effective for protect your organisation. By running cybersecurity training, you can monitor how successful the training is and work on your training strategy to ensure that it’s as optimal and effective as possible.
This will help improve cybersecurity training throughout your organisation, as well as educate employees on phishing attacks.
Reduce cyber risk
Ultimately, educating your employees will reduce the chance that something goes wrong and will greatly minimise the risk of a cyber-attack.
This is why education is so important — it ensures that your organisation is protected by educating those who operate within your business day to day into making better, more cyber-aware choices.
Best Practices for Phishing Simulations
Choose realistic industry/company-specific scenarios
Your simulation needs to be accurate, helpful, and relevant. After all, there’s no point in running a simulation that won’t prepare your employees for what to face.
That includes using realistic scenarios that are specific to your industry, as every industry has different minutiae that need to be considered.
Segment the audience into different groups based on their role
Different employees within your company will have different risk levels and needs based on their roles and position, and so will require specific training to help them.
By creating groups and specialising your training, it will be more effective for them and help ensure that they’re best prepared.
Provide immediate feedback
Cyber attackers won’t wait for you to be prepared. Time is of the essence, so ensuring that you provide immediate feedback to let your employees know what they need to brush up on is vital to ensure that your security posture remains as strong as possible.
Providing immediate feedback will also give your employees enough time to start implementing changes to their routine to accommodate what they’ve learnt, whereas waiting to do this will just leave more time where they could end up falling victim to an attack.
Analyse results for areas for improvement
Simply providing the simulation is only half the battle. Using that data to further improve your simulations and training to ensure that it only gets better and more useful is vital.
Close analysis of the results of your phishing simulation will help you use future simulations to target specific areas or weaknesses that need to be addressed. This will let you ensure that everything is trained up to a good level, instead of rehashing concepts that are already well understood and wasting time that could be spent focusing on areas of improvement.
Communicate the purpose of simulations for staff
Making sure that your staff knows exactly why these simulations are happening is vital. After all, communication is key to getting the most out of anything, and this includes cybersecurity training.
By letting your staff know why you’re doing these simulations, you can further stress the importance of cybersecurity and being vigilant for phishing attacks and other social engineering attacks, meaning that you further reduce your cyber risk and can keep on target by improving your cybersecurity training and education with the support of your team.
How To Get Started with Phishing Simulations
Phishing simulations are a great way to ensure that your employees aren’t hit by phishing attacks and can be a core part of creating a cybersecurity-aware culture within your organisation.
By using realistic simulations, you can ensure that your organisation is ready to fight off any modern phishing attack — and that an employee won’t be caught by a nasty surprise.
If you’re looking to get started with phishing simulations but need a helping hand, reach out to us today. We’re here to help you get started and will ensure that you have everything that you need for successful cybersecurity training. Get in touch with our experts now and see how we can help.
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