Cybersecurity experts agree that security awareness training is an important part of any cybersecurity strategy. You can implement next-generation technology to repel malicious actors and prevent and rapidly detect cyberattacks, but it is important not to forget about the human element. According to the Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations report, 82% of all data breaches involve the human element. Through training, you can teach cybersecurity best practices and reduce risky behaviors that open the door to hackers, and you can train employees how to identify phishing.

The percentage of companies providing security awareness training to their employees is increasing as the importance of training is now better understood, but one aspect of the training process that is often neglected is conducting phishing simulations on the workforce. Phishing simulations are fake but realistic phishing emails that businesses send internally to employees. You may wonder why you should do such a thing. Well, there are clear benefits that come from doing so. Here we provide five reasons why conducting phishing simulations on employees is beneficial.

1.   Create a Baseline to Measure the Effectiveness of your Training

Many companies provide security awareness training but are unable to measure its effectiveness, other than a reduction in data breaches and phishing incidents. Phishing simulations are a great way to monitor the effectiveness of training over time and clearly show the return on investment. Conduct phishing simulations before you start your training program and you have a baseline against which you can measure the effectiveness of training over time and see the ROI.

2.   Test the Effectiveness of Training in a Work Setting

You can show an employee the signs of phishing that they need to look out for, and you can test to make sure they have understood the training at the end of the training course, but that does not mean the training will be remembered nor that it will be applied when they are at work. Phishing is often successful because the emails arrive in inboxes when employees are busy, and that is why mistakes are made. Phishing simulations allow you to test whether training is being applied and whether it is proving to be effective.

3.   Identify Weak Links

While most employees will take the training on board, will take greater care, and will follow the security best practices they have learned, there will always be employees who do not.  Phishing simulations allow you to identify the weak links and take proactive action to address the problem before the employee falls for a real phishing email. A failed phishing simulation is an opportunity for intervention training. You can deliver training instantly in response to the problem, and provide a specific training course relevant to the mistake that was made. Providing relevant training at the point when the error is made is the most effective way of eradicating risky behaviors.

4.   Practice Makes Perfect

You should not expect every employee to become a security Titan the second they complete their training course. They will not be able to instantly identify every phishing threat. It takes time to build up security awareness and create a security culture. Phishing simulations are a great way to do this. They give employees practice at identifying phishing threats in a safe setting. When a real threat arrives in their inbox, they will be much more likely to be able to identify the malicious message.

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5.   Identify Weaknesses in the Training Course

Phishing simulations identify human weaknesses to allow further training to be provided, but they also identify problems with the training course. If you send a phishing simulation that a large number of employees fail, that is likely to indicate a problem with the training course – A type of threat that you have not covered sufficiently well. You can then update your training course to ensure that specific threat is properly explained.

SafeTitan from TitanHQ

TitanHQ has developed a comprehensive security awareness training solution for businesses called SafeTitan. The platform includes an extensive library of training content on all aspects of security, with the courses divided into short computer-based training modules of no more than 10 minutes, which makes them easy to fit into busy workflows.

The training content is fun, gamified, and engaging, and is proven to help eradicate risky security practices and reduce susceptibility to phishing attempts. The platform includes a phishing simulator for testing whether employees can recognize phishing attempts – the most common way that cybercriminals attack businesses. Phishing simulation data shows susceptibility to phishing attacks can be reduced by up to 80% with SafeTitan.

If you have yet to provide security awareness training to your workforce and are not conducting phishing simulations, the ideal time to start is now. Contact TitanHQ today for more information or sign up for a free trial of the solution and put it to the test before deciding on a purchase.