The 6 Elements of An Effective Phishing Awareness Training Program

Effective phishing awareness programs have proven to reduce risk by up to 80% within six months, emphasising the point that you cannot depend on technical defences alone. However, successful ones don’t happen by accident, here is what they need to include:

  1. Deliver the Right Content in the Right Way to the Right Users

    Long classroom sessions where users are not engaged will not get the job done. Content needs to be delivered in digestible chunks so that the User can absorb it. User attention spans are getting shorter as the pressure of work and deadlines increases so content that is delivered in modules of less than 8 to 10 minutes have been shown to be much more effective because they do not have inordinate impact on productivity.

  2. Simulate Phishing Campaigns

    How will employees act when they receive malicious emails and what will the impact of their actions be on the company? To accurately answer this question, phishing simulations are necessary.  These simulations should be contextualised, mirror the communication style of the company, and employ familiar tactics used by threat agents. It should also be sent out to employees at random, and their response noted for risk behavior assessment.

  3. Corrective Training Should Address the Impact of Risky Cyber Behaviours

    As part of the phishing simulations, corrective training can be implemented to prevent the employee from making the same mistakes as they did in the simulation. During the corrective training, employees should be guided on the mistakes they made and the potential impact their mistake could have on the company. This level of corrective training can help organizations build security-focused teams who are committed to being security conscious at all times.

  4. Report and Track Improvements to Show Real Value of Training Programs

    Another critical element of a security training program is reporting and tracking tools that help identify weaknesses within the company infrastructure and provide data that highlights changes/improvements that have been made in the organisation’s security system as a result of implementing security training programs. The reporting modules offered by the top training teams are also vital in guiding team leaders on training value. Reports can be compiled into easy-to-digest data points that show the company’s current security position and the progress made over previous months. This information is vital in guiding business leaders on the value of training programs and helps makes the case for further investment in information and network security.

  5. Use Real-Time Threat Analysis to Deliver Contextualised Training

    Real Time Training
    Real-time threat analysis should be used to monitor communications taking place on the network and alert IT staff when threat arises, or a user engages in potentially risky behaviour. When the former happens, contextualised training content (policy reminders, explanations, hints and tips) aimed at changing behaviour can be given to the staff member(s) involved. Last year, we ran an introductory webinar on real time intervention training that sheds more light on this.

  6. Choose the Right Security Training Platform

    All of these factors we’ve talked about cannot be delivered in a traditional manner. This makes the choice of a security partner very important. To be able to do all that have been mentioned above, you need a partner that can deliver an awareness training platform that offers a holistic service, makes it increasingly easy to carry out security training delivery, scheduling, testing and reporting; as well as enhances its features and functionalities based on the ever-evolving security landscape.

This whitepaper would help you understand and defend your organisation and people from phishing scams.

It covers the following topics:

  1. Eight Quickest ways to Spot a Phishing Attack
  2. Five Key Steps to stop Phishing Attacks
  3. Six Elements of an effective Phishing Awareness Training Program
  4. How to build and deliver an effective Phishing Awareness Campaign

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