Despite the ongoing efforts to improve modern cybersecurity programs, data breaches caused by hackers are still rampant. Surprisingly, the most advanced security applications cannot safeguard businesses from their biggest cybersecurity threat: human error.
Humans are susceptible to various cybersecurity vulnerabilities, including:
- Poor password hygiene
- Loss of physical storage devices
- Unsafe file sharing via mobile devices
- Falling for phishing scams
Unfortunately, there are more ways human error can cause millions of dollars in damages beyond these three. Among the vulnerabilities, falling for phishing scams is arguably the worst.
Understanding Phishing Scams
Phishing scams refer to fraudulent emails designed to trick recipients into divulging sensitive information. They often appear to originate from credible businesses or trustworthy individuals.
Phishing emails commonly employ scare tactics to extract information, such as asking recipients to confirm suspicious account activities or verify transactions. They may also instruct recipients to click on attachments that pose as official documents.
Once a phishing email lands in an employee’s inbox, security applications are of little help in averting a data breach.
Therefore, a reliable and adequate enterprise-level security training is necessary to guard against phishing scams. Nonetheless, not all phishing training programs are created equal. Here are five crucial features to look for in an effective phishing training for employees:
1. Analytics Capabilities
An effective phishing training program must include performance tracking, measurement, and analytical reporting that offer your organization reporting and failure rates. These two metrics are vital in phishing prevention:
Measures the likelihood of employees spotting and reporting phishing threats.
Measures the likelihood of employees falling for fraudulent emails.
An increase in either report will provide insight into the effectiveness of your phishing training solution. However, ensure that the tests are neither too basic nor too complex, as it may skew the analytics.
The phishing training program should not add unnecessary workload to employees. Cumbersome training solutions or those with steep learning curves will require employees to work more unpaid hours than necessary. The following features are essential:
- Provision of concise training content consumable in short bursts
- Seamless integration with employees’ daily workflows
- Allows feedback and/or ratings from employees
- Offers incentives for good performance
- Features a user-friendly interface
A phishing training program must be customized to match your employees’ cybersecurity competence, previous training, and organizational responsibilities. Customization and personalization should be the key differentiators when comparing phishing training vendors. Other than the degree of customization, ensure that they support appropriate languages to help your employees achieve satisfactory results.
4. Built-in Automation Tools
Managing a phishing training campaign is time-consuming and highly disruptive to a security team’s productivity. A training solution with built-in automation features can significantly lighten the load. The automation should extend to internal campaign tasks such as threat identification and updates. However, beware of over-automating, as this may compromise the personalization aspect of the training program.
Moreover, the solution should allow the security team to assume control over critical areas whenever necessary. A good vendor will assist you through the onboarding, configuration, and optimization processes to ensure the program’s success.
5. Lasting Results
An effective phishing training program should encourage behavioral changes that contribute to long-term results. The program should include positive reinforcement, frequent training, and ongoing performance tracking to help employees incorporate training lessons into habits. The phishing training program must also help employees understand the impact of reporting versus ignoring threats.
Top Questions to Ask Phishing Training Vendors
When looking for a phishing training solution, inquire about its suitability for your business using these questions:
How long will employees spend on the training?
What are the customization and personalization features of your platform?
What metrics and KPIs do your platform’s analytics measure?
What should employees expect if they fail or pass a phishing simulation?
Phishing Email Reports Storage
Where do reported phishing emails (simulated or real) go after being reported?
How often should employees expect to receive training content and simulations?
What language(s) does your training platform support?
How long does the security team take to configure and launch a campaign?
Can the training solution integrate seamlessly with other apps in our software stack?
What is your onboarding process?
What is the pricing model for your solution?
Employee training is the cornerstone of effective cybersecurity. It can effectively counter human error, which leads to costly data breaches. When looking for a phishing training solution, focus on the key elements, including analytics, intuitiveness, customizability, automation, and lasting results. Use the questions provided to evaluate vendors to pick a solution that suits your business requirements.