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It’s the people. Your employees are your biggest vulnerability—at least until they are prepared to recognize and report phishing attempts. Phishing and related social engineering campaigns are today’s number one attack vector. Over 90,000 unique phishing campaigns are launched every month. Surveys show that phishing is seen more than any other type of threat, and that phishing and social engineering attacks are the number one concern of security professionals.
It’s impossible to prevent phishing attacks by purely technical means. That’s where phishing awareness comes in. Phishing awareness training educates employees on how to spot and report suspected phishing attempts, to protect themselves and the company from cybercriminals, hackers, and other bad actors who want to disrupt and steal from your organization.
Keep your employees vigilant of common Indicators of Phishing (IOPs) found in the workplace.
Phishing awareness training starts with educating your employees on why phishing is harmful, and empowering them to detect and report phishing attempts. Depending on your organization’s culture, you can deliver this initial training via a written document, an online video, company or department meetings, classroom training, of some combination of the above.
Simulated phishing campaigns reinforce employee training, and help you understand your own risk and improve workforce resiliency—these can take many forms, such as mass phishing, spear phishing, and whaling.
Nothing teaches like experience. When employees click on a link or an attachment in a simulated phishing email, it's important to communicate (nicely, of course) to them that they have potentially put both themselves and the organization at risk. You can then display a “training page” that reinforces the dangers of phishing and reminds the employees how to report suspect emails.
Use the results, such as the attack types that were most successful and which teams were most vulnerable, to focus your security monitoring, strengthen your phishing awareness training, and add additional defenses for phishing protection. You can also use the results to track the progress of your phishing awareness program and document improvements.
Starting a phishing awareness program doesn't have to be daunting. Learn more.
In this week’s Whiteboard Wednesday, we outline how to implement a phishing awareness program to improve employee resilience in 5 steps.
This whitepaper from Rapid7 answers your key questions about the value, cost, risk, and execution of a phishing awareness program.