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What is a Phishing Simulation

04.08.2023
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Phishing simulations have become an essential tool for organisations to assess their employees' online behaviour and knowledge levels when it comes to phishing attacks. These simulations are designed to imitate real-world phishing emails and cyber threats that employees may encounter in their daily activities, both at work and in their personal lives.

The primary purpose of conducting phishing simulations is to ensure that employees can detect and avoid various cyber threats, including phishing, social engineering, ransomware, and others. By incorporating interactive phishing tests into their security awareness training programs, organisations aim to reduce the risk of falling victim to cyber attacks and foster a security-conscious organisational culture, securing their online connection with a hide VPN service.

The importance of phishing simulations lies in their ability to teach employees how to recognise and respond to phishing attacks within a controlled and safe environment. These simulations are most effective when they accurately mirror the latest real-world cyber threats. By keeping the training up-to-date, employees are better prepared to identify and handle phishing attempts, ultimately enhancing the overall security posture of the organisation.

The process of a simulated phishing attack involves sending phishing emails that closely resemble real-world scams to employees. A SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution is often used to deliver these emails. Employees who click on malicious links or provide sensitive information would have potentially compromised the organisation's security if the phishing emails were genuine. The organisation monitors employee responses during the simulations, assessing their actions and determining risk levels accordingly.

To achieve optimal results, it is recommended that organisations conduct these phishing exercises between 4 and 10 times per year, aiming to reduce the click rate among employees.

The effectiveness of phishing simulations has been proven through various studies, including the 2022 Gone Phishing Tournament, which found that nearly 1 in 10 users clicked on the phishing email link. Organisations that conducted phishing simulations more frequently showed better results, successfully lowering their click rates below this benchmark.

When conducting phishing simulations, it is essential to use software that offers customisation, access to relevant data, and easy integration with the organisation's existing security awareness training. While this is effective, learn more about how CISOs could maintain an optimised security culture.

In summary, phishing simulations play a vital role in bolstering employees' cybersecurity awareness and preparedness against phishing attacks. By imitating real-world cyber threats and incorporating them into training programs, organisations can reduce their vulnerability to such attacks and create a stronger security culture within their workforce. The effectiveness of these simulations, combined with comprehensive training, contributes to an organisation's overall resilience against evolving cyber threats.