Phish testing is an important cybersecurity step used to help mitigate risk associated with human error. It is important to know if employees are susceptible to cyberattacks. Moreover, companies need to understand how employees will behave when confronted with real-world cybersecurity threats like phishing.
By sending fake phishing emails via reputable cybersecurity education partners, companies can assess how effective cybersecurity awareness training programs are working. Additionally, phish testing reinforces cybersecurity training by keeping employees on the look out for suspicious emails. This cybersecurity strategy is considered critical infrastructure for creating barriers to information security breaches.
Phishing attacks from cybercriminals are sent via email to acquire sensitive information. The information can then be used to gain access to data or steal money. Employees are “baited” with an email account that looks credible or legitimate.
The goal of phishing attacks is to trick employees into clicking on links or revealing confidential information. For example, cybercriminals are specifically looking for financial information, personal information, or login credentials, etc.
If security awareness training has been successful, then employees are better prepared for recognizing a phishing attempt. For example, attempts often include a sense of urgency. After training, companies routinely send simulated phishing email attacks to their employees to test their response.
A correct response to a phishing email is indicated by employees reporting the phishing attempt to the IT department or security departments. The goal is to train employees to avoid clicking on the contents of the phishing attempt. Clicking links within these cyber-attacks are considered a cybersecurity threat to the company.
The benefit of simulated phishing attacks is understanding the overall risk of exposure to security breaches. Additionally, it is beneficial to address and train employees who routinely make missteps when presented with a phishing test.
There are many options available to companies looking to employ phish testing. Using a cybersecurity awareness training vendor for phish testing services is generally a turn-key type of phishing service. Security awareness training vendors provide phish testing as a part of their service packages. It may seem like phish testing could be easily done in-house. Truthfully, the cost of using a third party is minimal.
Phish testing is a service often included in packages offered by security awareness training providers. Total cost of security awareness training along with phish testing can cost as little as $1-2 per employee.
Many email providers have phishing monitoring services included in their network of services. Whether you use Microsoft or Google, phishing monitoring services are often included in certain service packages. Coordinate with email providers when performing phish testing to ensure the test emails are not blocked.
The frequency of phish testing should be decided by your IT and security teams, but they should be performed regularly throughout the year. Your first phish test should establish a baseline from which your company should aim to improve. Continue to monitor and report the results of testing going forward and aim for continuous improvement of testing outcomes.
Foster a security culture within your organization by emphasizing the importance of training and testing. Do not wait for your employees to become a victim of phishing attacks. Create defensive employees who can identify and report phishing attempts. Reduce your risk by training and testing your end users regularly.
eLynx subscribes to a third-party security awareness training program. Our security awareness vendor provides the content for the email and provides the results of each test. Our security team has established routine phish tests for all employees.
We also utilize third party security monitoring and prevention services, which provides alerting and metrics on phishing attacks and attempted logins. Additionally, when real-world phishing attacks occur, the management team shares and discusses the cyber event with all employees during staff meetings.
The eLynx management and security teams have fostered a security culture within the organization. This security culture is evident by the positive phishing test results of each quarter. Employees are proactively on high alert for security threats and continue to show a commitment to completing security training each month. These efforts further ensure eLynx customers are protected from any additional security threats.