What to Consider When Planning a Phishing TestDilsu Tanal
As we mentioned before, phishing tests are very important in creating cyber security awareness. Unfortunately, not every phishing test gives the same result. If you want to get efficiency from phishing tests and increase your employees’ cybersecurity awareness in the long run, you should consider a few critical points. So what is important when doing a phishing test? Here’s what to consider when planning a phishing test!
What to Consider When Planning a Phishing Test
1. Phishing Tests Must Be Repeated.
You should repeat phishing tests in the form of simulations every month or quarter. Only in this way can you achieve maximum efficiency. In addition, you should gradually increase the difficulty of the test. The initial phishing test should be relatively simple. After that, you can include different types of attacks in your tests. So you should let your employees crawl before they can walk.
2. Include Different Types of Phishing in Tests.
You should include different types of phishing in your tests. In this way, your employees will be prepared and experienced against many different attacks. Even if your first test is a simple phishing attack, be sure to use social engineering later on. Teach your employees the sneaky methods hackers use. Target specific employees or specific groups within the organization in these specific attacks. For example, send fake emails to the marketing department about the latest marketing trends. Or ask your employees to share their passwords for payroll information.
3. Put Top Executives to the Test, Too.
Make sure to target senior executives in your phishing tests. They are the guardians of your company’s most valuable assets. Because of this, hackers can target them frequently. In addition, the training of senior managers is an important detail in increasing the motivation of your employees.
4. Report Phishing Test Results.
The purpose of phishing tests is to give your employees a long-term awareness of cybersecurity. So most of the work starts after the phishing test is over. For this, you should analyze the test results. You should reward your employees who are successful according to the result, and provide the necessary training to your trapped employees. But for this, first of all, effective reporting is required.
The three most important metrics you should report are:
- Number of employees reporting phishing attack
- Number of employees leaking sensitive information
- Click-through rate on malicious links
In phishing tests, the goal is to reduce the last two metrics and increase the number of employees reporting phishing attacks. The only way you can make progress is to report these metrics after testing. You should then share your report with the rest of the company. In order for your failed employees to be successful in the next simulation, you must show them their mistakes in a quiet and private environment.
5. Give Rewards to Your Successful Employees.
You can congratulate your employees who pass the phishing tests via an email. You should thank them for not clicking on suspicious links, reporting phishing, and not leaking sensitive information. This will also motivate your failing employees. If you want to motivate your employees even more, you can turn phishing tests into a race. You can achieve this by taking the most successful department out to dinner or rewarding it with a vacation.
6. Train Your Employees Who Have Failed the Phishing Test.
The most important thing to take after the phishing test is to give the necessary training. You shouldn’t be angry or bossy at any failed employee, whether they’re a CEO or a trainee. Tell your employees to feel comfortable talking to you. In this way, they can easily consult you when they encounter anything suspicious. This only happens when they know you respect them and appreciate their hard work.
Simply send an email to your initially unsuccessful employees informing them of their mistake. In this email, you should re-emphasize the importance of cybersecurity training and direct them to the necessary training so they can detect phishing emails. Reassure them that if they are careful, they will not fall into the trap next time. You can also increase their motivation by establishing a personal relationship with the employees. If your employee repeats his mistake, you should warn them more proactively. You can give them real-life examples and tell them what happened to other companies.
What to Consider When Planning a Phishing Test: What Should You Do Next?
By following the steps we recommend, you lay the foundations for a successful and rewarding program that protects your employees from attacks. In this way, you can protect your company against phishing and cyber attacks. So what should you do next? After each test you need to start preparing for the next test. At the end of each quarter or year, prepare a brief summary that you can show to managers and the team in general. In this way, you can constantly improve your cyber security. As your company grows and phishing methods continue to evolve, phishing awareness should increase. For this, it is very important that your employees are tested regularly.
The first step to solving a problem is recognizing the existence of that problem. You have taken this first step by reading our article. The second step is to combine this knowledge with effective tools. Our Awareness Trainer can help you with this. We hope our tool will help you build cybersecurity awareness and give you peace of mind that your employees will act correctly when they receive a phishing email.