What is a Phishing Simulation?

Simulated attacks sent from the company to its employees can test whether or not employees recognize phishing attempts. This technique plays a pivotal role in every organization’s cybersecurity awareness strategy.  By being exposed to these simulated phishing emails, employees learn to recognize and respond to actual attacks and become vigilant against cybersecurity threats.

Employees can experience firsthand different scenarios of actual phishing attacks without jeopardizing the company’s real-life assets. Phishing simulations offer a safe space for employees to recognize cybersecurity threats without falling victim to these scams.

CISO’s and IT department heads often use phishing simulations as the first step in their cybersecurity awareness campaigns. The results obtained from these simulations identify the type of training that will benefit each employee.  

Phishing simulations can also be used as a post-training strategy to measure a training module’s effectiveness to determine if employees understood and retained the content. 

Akamai Technologies, a leader in cloud security solutions, determined that roughly 1 in 5 phishing attacks go undetected even when sites are blacklisted.

A well-trained and knowledgeable workforce can serve as your first line of defense to protect your company from cyberattacks. 

How Phishing Simulations Work

The ideal phishing simulation resembles a real-world cyber-attack. The email template and landing page should be realistic and credible. It can include an endless set of common corporate email themes such as password reset, HR communications,  and bank details. It should encourage employees to open email attachments and click on links.

 

Cybercriminals often change the content and look of phishing emails so it is recommended that companies continue this practice at regular intervals. Varying the themes of simulated phishing emails to include special holidays, COVID-related information, or company-sponsored events is also a recommended training strategy.

When choosing the right tool to help you run phishing simulations, consider the importance of having suitable templates that match every department of your company. Attackers do their best to personalize the emails they will send to an organization. 

Incorporating a product that automates this process can make your job easier. Providers that offer easy customization and a library of existing simulated emails and landing pages will help your team increase efficiency and eliminate time-consuming tasks. 

Benefits of Phishing Simulations

Successful simulations identify the following:

 

This information can be used by IT and infosec teams to further educate employees. Running phishing simulation campaigns can improve the cyber behaviors of employees in the long run and make the employee a key element in the organization’s cyber defense strategy. 

By training your employees to recognize phishing emails, your organization will be in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation and the Personal Data Protection Commission. Your customers will also have the confidence to know that their private data is protected.

Phishing Simulations and cybersecurity training are complementary strategies that work together to keep your workforce aware and protected against cyber threats.

Send customized phishing simulations to your workforce