Phishing Awareness Training Is Essential to an Effective Cyber Security Plan
One of the strategies of cyber security is to reduce a system’s exposure to outside threats. The industry term for this is “attack surface,” and one of the most effective ways to reduce your attack surface is through phishing awareness training.
Phishing attacks are different from other security breaches. Your business can have the best cyber security hardware and software imaginable and mature security procedures, but none of that is useful if an unwitting employee opens the gates. People are the weakest link in the cyber security chain, and technology alone cannot prevent phishing attacks.
The answer is awareness and training. Through a comprehensive phishing attack assessment and training from SBT Partners, you can start to bolster your security, reduce your attack surface, and turn a potential weakness into an asset.
This blog will take a look at the risks of phishing attacks and how successful awareness testing will boost your employee’s confidence and allow them to be your best line of defense.
Phishing Is Arguably One of the Most Significant Security Threats to Your Organization
People trust what is familiar to them, and when a typical employee in your company has to read and parse 40+ emails a day, you can bet that email is an easy and effective way for hackers to disrupt your system.
This is why simulated phishing attacks are so effective. They correct behavior, but more importantly, they allow your employees to make mistakes without any consequence to the company.
The Keys To Successful Phishing Awareness Testing
Testing your employees is the first crucial step in a proactive approach to securing your systems.
- Company-wide buy-in: The first step to eliminating a problem is to know that it exists. No phishing awareness program will get anywhere if there are elements of your organization that aren’t on board, and this starts with management and senior leadership. They need to be aware that phishing is a real threat to the company, regardless of their team’s function within the organization.
- Initial training: Give your employees the knowledge and tools they need to identify and report phishing attacks. These training sessions are short and can be done for specific groups and teams within your organization. The concepts of phishing awareness are not complicated and should be taught to anyone that has email access.
But more importantly, the goal of awareness is to reinforce the idea that they are a critical part of data security and it is a shared responsibility. The training introduces employees to the concept that there are hackers out there that will use them as a way to access your networks, that these hackers are a smart and determined enemy, but with a little training, they can confidently serve as the front line to securing your systems.
The final part of awareness training is to inform them that their knowledge and ability to recognize phishing will be tested over the next few months or years.
Frequent testing – The best awareness programs have to toe a fine line. Too many test emails are overkill, even disruptive; too few will fail to give a practical assessment. The goal is to plan testing as a campaign, one that is progressive in terms of difficulty. Initial emails should be easy to identify, but after that, different levels of subtlety will provide a true test. Later, emails should include social engineering tactics and spear phishing emails. Test emails should consist of management and c-level employees.
Have a plan for monitoring and reporting – While it is never a good idea to call out individual employees or a group publicly for failing phishing awareness, results should be shared with the organization. Reward high-performers and provide additional training for low performers.
Reinforce training – As with any cybersecurity threat, phishing attacks evolve over time, which means training needs to be revisited. When you find individuals or groups having trouble grasping the concepts, additional training will reinforce what they have learned
Reach Out to SBT For a Free Phishing Awareness Assessment
How prepared are your employees to thwart phishing attacks? Our assessment is an essential first step to securing your organization. We can review assessment and awareness training options for your organization and show you exactly how valuable this kind of training can be. SBT Partners can provide your teams with the tools they need for peak cyber security awareness, and you can be confident the next phishing link that won’t trick them comes through their inbox.