Security Awareness Training: 4-Step Phishing Simulations

by | July 15, 2021 | Cybersecurity, ATTACK Simulator, How to

What you don’t know can’t hurt you, right? Wrong. At least, when we’re talking cybersecurity. The first and most crucial step in protecting your business from phishing attacks is acknowledging their existence and being able to recognize them.

Nowadays, security awareness training is a must, and it should feature realistic phishing simulations.

Security awareness training is important.
With all the work your employees have to do, it’s easy for phishing emails to get unnoticed

Fight against phishing attacks with security awareness training

A study by Proofpoint showed that nearly 90% of organizations worldwide were targeted by spear-phishing attempts over the last year, and a crushing 55% were also successful.

With the advancement of technology, cybercrime becomes more sophisticated and target-customized. As a result, malicious emails are increasingly harder to detect for both machines and users.

Phishing emails are crafted so that they trick victims into clicking on an URL to a fake website where they are prompted to enter their sensitive information. While usual phishing messages can reach up to thousands of recipients at once, spear-phishing attempts are targeted and personal. The attacker will pretend to be a trustworthy source, someone who knows the user so that they can be fooled and give their personal data when asked.

Providing constant security awareness training to your employees is your best bet to protect your company against complex attacks. Giving them the necessary security knowledge is the foundation of the whole process.

Including phishing simulations in your security awareness training program

The best way for your employees to learn to spot and deflect a phishing attempt is to experience one. Mistakes are really the best teachers. Employees will be exposed to real-life simulations. The purpose of these simulated attacks is to help your staff develop efficient defense mechanisms and acquire valuable decision-making skills.

Here at Attack Simulator, we put ourselves in the attacker’s shoes as we believe that understanding their thinking and actions is vital in designing an accurate simulation.

Here’s our comprehensive approach to phishing simulations:

  • Automated attack simulation – we simulate all kinds of cyberattacks.
  • Real-life scenarios – we evaluate users’ vulnerability to give company or pesonal data away using realistic web-pages.
  • User behaviour analysis – we gather user data and compile it in extensive reports to give you a detailed picture of your employees’ security awareness level.
  • Malicious file replicas – our emails contain malware file repilcas, to make the simulation as realistic as it can be.
  • Interactive lessons – if employees fail to recognize our traps and fall into one, they will discover lessons on the best security practices.

Our 4-Step Phishing Simulations

1. We send out simulated phishing emails

In the first stage, we’ll throw the bait and send out our phishing email simulations. The emails are customized considering the platforms your company uses, and they are sent randomly from a time pattern point of view. All these details make all the difference in the world in the relevance of your employee’s response.

Users receive phishing simulations whether at work or at home. This way, they can learn security awareness in a practical way, without even knowing it.
Users receive phishing simulations whether at work or at home. This way, they can learn security awareness in a practical way, without even knowing it.

2. We test the user by using landing pages and downloadable attachments

Now that the bait is out there, this can go two ways. More often than not, the user fails to recognize the pretend phishing attempt, so the simulation continues:

Landing Pages – if the user takes the bait and clicks on the URL in the email, they are redirected to a replica of a site where data breaches occur. The landing page is designed to give a sense of urgency and lure users into filling in personal or company-related data, such as credentials or financial information.

Downloadable Attachments – alternatively, our phishing email simulations may contain simulated malicious attachments that can be downloaded. After downloading the file, social engineered instructions will nudge the user to open it.

Plugins – the user is able to identify a phishing attempt by utilizing our plugin buttons for Gmail and Outlook. Additionally, our system will let the user know whether they recognized the attack correctly or not.

3. We teach security using interactive methods

Just-in-Time learning – the practical training concludes with just-in-time learning in the form of security awareness educational pages, featuring interactive lessons that provide the user with the necessary knowledge to identify red flags in phishing emails.

Quizzes – the best way to test, monitor, and assess the learning process results is to use quizzes at the end of every lesson. The responses are compiled in reports on your company’s situation.

4. We provide ongoing training

As security awareness training is not a one-off undertaking, we believe that practice makes perfect, and testing should occur regularly, as cyber threats never cease to exist and evolve. Therefore, we are ready to offer you a long-term security awareness training solution tailored to your business’s needs. Also, our long-running training solution keeps your employees on the edge, helping them develop new security-oriented reflexes.

As they say, better to be safe than sorry. Choose to be safe and request your quote today.


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by Diana Panduru

Content writer for Attack Simulator. Passionate about all things writing and cybersecurity, and obsessed with driving. I sometimes indulge in pencil drawing, poetry, and cooking for fun.

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