Phishing Security Awareness Training for Employees

Change Risky Behavior

You’re well aware of phishing risks, but users continue to fall for phishing attacks. Traditional approaches such as CBTs train users once or twice a year, often to ensure compliance. This type of old-school cyber security awareness training for employees can’t keep pace with today’s threats—it creates a gaping hole in your phishing defense.

Experiential learning—simulated phishing emails sent to corporate inboxes—helps users understand and report real threats. Giving users the right cyber security awareness training at the right time, along with an easy way to report emails, builds resiliency. When users report suspicious messages to security operations, the team can validate threats and greatly lower risk.

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Phish Testing is the Enemy of Phishing Defense

Stop relying on phish testing. Like traditional penetration testing, phish testing is used to assess vulnerability, but it doesn’t reduce risk and improve overall security. A test might track the number of users that clicked on a bad email, but won’t illuminate what matters most—how many users took action and reported the phish.

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Instead of focusing on click rates, shift your focus to user reporting. Reporting is the true measure of phishing resiliency, the smartest way to turn users into active defenders. This data allows you to track improvements in your phishing defense, demonstrate the effectiveness of phishing awareness programs, and show improvements to your security posture. The intelligence gained from user reporting gives security operations greater visibility, preventing them from being blindsided.

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Stay Current with Emerging Threats

Threat actors are continually updating their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) to better their chances of email delivery and payload execution. Security awareness programs need to operationalize TTPs and turn them into learning moments.

Security awareness and security operations should work together closely. When security awareness gets real intelligence on real attacks, the team can better prepare users—and ensure protection in a rapidly changing world. 

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Show Executives the Value of Phishing Awareness Training

Security budgets are finite and all departments want their share. To maximize investment in security programs, executive stakeholders need to see return on investment. Security awareness teams must communicate success with metrics demonstrating a stronger resiliency to phishing.

A phishing defense program built on user reporting will furnish the metrics you need. Cofense offers Board Reports that streamline the process. Your executives will digest high-level reporting, complete with industry benchmarking and comparative analysis, in language they can easily grasp. Supply data showing the impact of awareness programs in lowering business risk.

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Manage Your Program More Efficiently

Each organization has a different phishing risk tolerance, but cookie-cutter solutions don’t take this into account. Trying to fit someone else’s program into your organization can be a recipe for disaster.

First, cyber security awareness training for employees must collaborate with broader security teams to educate users on attacks they’re likely to face. As your program matures, vary your phishing simulations, going from basic scenarios to more complex attacks. Automation can help too, by streamlining the process of scheduling and running simulations. If internal resources are limited, consider using consultants to ensure your awareness program clearly reflects your needs.

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