How Simulated Phishing Campaigns Can Save Your Business from Losing Money

As you are reading this article there is a high probability that your organization is being targeted by a phishing attack.

According to Verizon’s Data Breach report 90% of security incidents and data breaches involved phishing activity, making Phishing the most frequent type of attack used by cyber criminals. As recent as October 2019 FBI published a report 1 stating that Business Email Compromise attacks accounted for $26 Billion in losses globally over a three-year period. In the report, the FBI suggests that “Employees should be educated about and alert to this scheme. Training should include preventative strategies and reactive measures in case they are victimized.”

Cyber criminals use Phishing because unlike other attacks that target technology Phishing attacks exploit human error.  

What is phishing?

According to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)  phishing is defined as a form of social engineering that uses email or malicious websites (among other channels) to solicit personal information from an individual or company by posing as a trustworthy organization or entity. Phishing often directs users to enter details on a fake website that looks and feels almost identical to the legitimate site.

Why are Phishing awareness and simulated attacks so important?

Cyber security is no longer purely about leveraging “best-in-class” technology instead it’s about building a culture that takes cyber security seriously. Because of the nature of Phishing, it is impossible to stop phishing attempts by using purely technical solutions. Your employees are the last line of defense against cyber threats like Phishing attacks, that is why it is extremely important to train your team to be able to identify and report malicious emails and prevent a data breach or loss of money.

Lack of employee training on cyber security is the main reason for these attacks are so successful. However, the good news is that simulated phishing campaigns can reduce their success rates.

As Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “In preparing for battle I have always found the plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”. To his point, because attacks are unexpected, and plans can be outdated or not applicable the best way to get ready for an emergency is by continuously preparing. For example, the military isn’t just responsible for planning but also continuously training troops so that in the case of an emergency the military will be best prepared to respond effectively.

Similarly, running simulated Phishing campaigns will allow you to measure your organization’s cyber security awareness and then respond appropriately by developing effective training campaigns. Strategic training is imperative to give your employees the knowledge and the ability to spot and report Phishing attacks in order to protect your company from a data breach and financial loss. 

What can you expect from a simulated Phishing campaign?

There is a number of benefits that you gain from running Simulated Phishing campaigns, below is a shortlist of the most important benefits to your organization:

1.Give your employees the experience of a real-life phishing attack before they happen.

With simulated Phishing campaigns, your employees will get a firsthand exposure to sample Phishing emails. This will help them get familiar with the look and feel of such attacks. Campaigns can also be created to emulate familiar experiences. For example, if your company uses G-Suite you can choose a Phishing campaign that looks like an official email from Google asking users to login to their G-Suite. These types of campaigns are harder to spot but after the training your employees they will be better prepared to identify real-life Phishing attacks.  

2.Gain insights into your company’s security awareness maturity.

Knowledge is power! With real-time reporting, you can measure your company’s security awareness by tracking how many emails were opened, how many users selected a link, and whether these emails were reported. This data is imperative to understand your current level of security awareness throughout your organization and help to plan for future campaigns and training.

3.Identify and remediate the highest risks.

Leveraging the insights from the reports you can identify individuals or department groups that require additional training. Once your most vulnerable risks are identified you can then provide specific tools and training that they require to keep your company safe from cyber-attacks.

4.Create and streamline security training based on campaign results.

Based on the results of your campaigns you can streamline training by automatically delivering targeted training to maximize efficiency. As your employees’ security awareness grows you can ramp up and run more sophisticated campaigns that are harder to identify. You can also choose campaigns that mimic some of the most familiar names such as Google, Apple, and yahoo.

5.Keep your employees up to date with the constant changes in the cyber threat landscape.

With weekly bite size 2-minute videos and monthly short newsletter your employees will be kept up to date with the latest threats and tricks to identify cyber threats.

6.Keep up with latest regulations.

Organizations that fall under specific regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, PCI and GDPR might be required to provide employees with cyber security awareness training.

People focused security awareness training is the solution to human risk. Make sure your team is cyber security aware. If you are looking for help with your security awareness program, reach out to Imagis, we would love to hear from you.