User Awareness: A Growing Concern Among Organizations

Phishing has always been a challenge for companies, but in recent months high profile breaches have cast a bright light on a more pressing aspect of the phishing threat – user awareness; or the lack there of! The reason phishing attacks are so effective is because most employees have a basic level of phishing awareness. Companies attending recent events such as Black Hat and SANSFIRE, reiterate a common theme; “we need more effective ways to increase our employees’ awareness to help minimize the success of phishing attacks.”

Once thought of as a threat that could be mitigated simply by an email filter solution, phishing (and now more importantly, spear phishing) has evolved to such a sophisticated level that technical controls are no longer effective in differentiating well-crafted and targeted emails from legitimate ones.  This leaves employees as the last line of defense which is highlighting the need for improved education. The challenge for many security IT professionals is that they have little time to develop programs that provide effective education and reduce the risk to their organization. While many companies indicate they have an awareness program, they also indicate that they lack consistency and content.  This awareness model does little to increasing their employees’ awareness or change their behavior.

Organizations with mature awareness programs attribute their success to a mix of periodic communications and structured training that provide immediate, informative and relevant awareness content to employees. The inline awareness saves both time and resources and targets training to those who need it most. At PhishMe we encourage our customers to conduct sanctioned simulated phishing exercises. This allows organizations to identify where targeted education should be directed and offers the ability to provide immediate education.

There are several different ways PhishMe works with our clients to improve overall employee awareness including online games, tutorials, custom training and awareness program consultation.  In the end it comes down to striking the right balance between content and repetition for your enterprise.  Having trained over 2 million users to date our customers have seen how consistent training can raise awareness and reduce the risk of employees falling victim to phishing attacks by up to 80 percent.

If we are in your area, we welcome you to come speak with us at an upcoming event!

 

The PhishMe Team