Keep Your Institution Safe with A Phishing Simulation Software!İbrahim Uçar
1- What is A Phishing Simulation?
A Phishing simulation is a solution that trains individuals against cyber attacks that may come through email and helps individuals to be one step ahead of attacks.
The simulation literally means “imitation, similar”, which models a theoretical or physical system in a computer environment and conducts experiments in order to understand function or performance or to see different models and methods from a different perspective, evaluates the models that can all occur in the real environment.
A Phishing Simulation is a model of real action, designed for training purposes to resolve the issue, for instance, astronauts are trained using space flight simulation or the driver candidates evaluate themselves on a car simulation before going out to traffic, they can see the real risks as if they were driving a real car.
The phishing simulation that we frequently come across in cybersecurity also works with this logic. For example, cyber attackers can send fake emails to target people to steal information from them and lead them to specially designed fake websites. Or the attacker can try to steal your Facebook information with a fake email like “I Forgot My Facebook Password” It is very important to experience these attacks in the computer environment before real attack occurs, therefore, the phishing simulation provides a real experience against cyberattacks, effectively protecting individuals against them.
2- Why Should You Experience a Phishing Simulation?
A Phishing Simulation, as we have explained above, simulation processes provide lifelike experience. If a person is hacked, he always becomes careful with his emails or other security issues, he experienced this by himself. The simulation environment provides this before a real cyber attack occurs.
A cyber attacker can send you fake emails which are prepared with new techniques and new topics every day. When a criminal sends a phishing email to you, you learn how to respond to it and how to take action based on the experience you got by phishing simulation.
Below you can see a sample fake email and Facebook home page prepared for phishing simulations, and with such contents, individuals are able to learn by experiencing them.
The real Facebook site’s home page;
Using A Phishing Simulation, individuals can learn what to check between the two examples above (links, certificate information, grammar, spelling rules, etc.) and experience them.
3- Traditional Contents Vs Phishing Simulations
Cybersecurity awareness training received from different channels may not be effective against cyber attacks. Especially for a variety of reasons, a lack of concentration, thinking about something else during training moment, carelessness, etc. for many reasons, maximum efficiency cannot be obtained in classical awareness programs.
However, using a phishing simulation, you can see and experience the fake pages and emails as if they were coming from a real cyber attacker. In this way, you can detect fake email and learn what to look out for. In addition, what should be considered in the fake website is experienced personally. For this reason, phishing attack simulation produces more efficient results compared to classical training.
4- Effect of Phishing Simulation on Users
Individuals who regularly experience and receive fake emails for 6 months during phishing simulation programs know immediately what they should check when they receive the next fake email. Statistics prove that people involved in phishing simulation do not click on a phishing link or open attachments, i.e., see screenshot below.
5- Conclusion and Recommendations
Cybercriminals know the best strategies to access your organization’s sensitive data. Often, they attack with simple methods rather than complex ones. An attacker attacks by simply manipulating an employee or a community member. There are several ways to identify various social engineering attacks and their indicators.
Phishing attacks are not only delivered by email!
Cybercriminals can initiate phishing attacks via phone calls, text messages, or other online applications. If you don’t know the sender or caller, or if the message content looks too good to be true, this is probably a phishing attack.
Be aware of the signs.
If the email contains spelling or grammatical errors, an urgent request, or an incredibly good-looking offer, you should delete the message content immediately.
Verify the sender.
Perform the necessary checks to ensure that the sender’s e-mail address is legitimate.
Don’t be fooled by the actual content of messages!
Phishing attack emails often include credible logos, links to real company websites, legitimate phone numbers, and real employee email signatures. But if the message calls you to take action (especially action such as sending sensitive information, clicking a link, or downloading an attachment), be careful and look for other signs of phishing attacks. Do not hesitate to contact the company directly from the message; because these companies can verify the authenticity of the message and they may not even be aware that company names are used for fraudulent purposes.
Never share your passwords.
Your passwords are the key to your identity, data, and even the information of your friends and colleagues. Your institution’s help desk or IT department will never ask for your password.
Avoid opening links and attachments from unknown senders.
Get into the habit of writing known URLs in your browser. Do not open attachments unless you are expecting a file from someone. If a suspicious message comes up, call the sender.
Don’t talk to strangers!
When you receive a call from someone you do not know if you are asked to provide information, turn off your phone and report it to the authorities.
Beware of abandoned flash memories.
Cybercriminals can expose flash drives to lure their victims, so anyone who finds it can unknowingly install malicious software on their computer when they use it. It should not be inserted into the computer, even to find out the real owner of the flash memory. Because this is likely to be a trap.
- Train yourself for phishing awareness.
Have a cyber security awareness training program that will help you to identify and report phishing emails.
The institutions should use phishing simulation software to send fake well-prepared emails. Employees can experience fake pages and emails as if they were coming from a real cyber attacker. In this way, employees can detect fake email and learn what to look out for.
You can find free cybersecurity tips from here.