Companies have tried many methods to train employees about phishing and social engineering. But after all this time, over 90% of all data breaches are traced back to human error. It seems we haven’t progressed from where we were five years ago! Is it that hard to learn? Perhaps there is a better training method that we can use.
Traditional classroom instruction works for introducing concepts, but it’s not the best strategy for optimal retention and practical application of these concepts in the real world. There must be a better way, such as simulation exercises that will encourage critical thinking in the face of an actual phishing or social engineering threat.
10 Skills to Gain from Simulation Exercises
Realistic simulations can help employees develop skills to elevate your organization’s overall security. Here are ten benefits that your staff can gain from simulation exercises.
Ability to Spot Phishing and Social Engineering Attempts
The first line of defense against phishing is to know what it looks like. Most are cleverly cloaked to look like the real thing. There will always be telltale signs that will let you know these links, download requests, or simple email messages are not to be trusted.
Awareness of Safe Browsing Practices
Just because your computer has built-in anti-malware tools doesn’t mean you can be lax in browsing the web. There are things you must do to maintain security each time you are online, like disabling the auto-fill feature in forms, avoiding public Wi-Fi, and using only https websites.
Creation of Strong Passwords to Prevent Phishing and Social Engineering Attacks
We all know how important it is to have strong passwords for all our accounts. Still, many employees forget, perhaps because of the volume of passwords they need to remember. Simulation exercises can show how easy it can be to crack a simple password. Seeing this would effectively drive the lesson and teach people to create long and complex passwords. These exercises can also address multi-factor authentication and an efficient password manager.
Taking Precautions in Social Media
The average person spends 2.5 hours a day on social media. This is a lot of time with exposure to online predators. You can minimize the risk by taking adequate precautions, such as limiting the posting of personal information, staying away from suspicious apps, and being aware.
Prudence in Downloading Files
Even files from trusted sources can be infected with malware, so there is zero room for laxity. Make it a habit to scan all files before downloading and not open files from senders you don’t know.
Using Data Encryption on Phishing and Social Engineering
Data transfer is such an ordinary thing these days that some people forget to take precautions. Now more than ever, it is vital to keep all data transfers as secure as possible by using the most advanced tools and by protecting all devices used for these transfers.
Practicing Physical Security on Phishing and Social Engineering
Just because cybersecurity is in place doesn’t mean physical security protocols can be forgotten. Through simulation, you can see how incredibly easy it is to get through an unmonitored entry point in a building, or how quickly a hacker can enter a system through an unattended device.
Maintaining Remote Security
Using public Wi-Fi for work can open the organization’s network to the prying eyes of cybercriminals. Simulation exercises must cover home network protection, proper use of VPNs, and safety protocols for public hotspots.
Avoiding Malware Risks
Phishing simulation is a great way to teach employees to avoid malware risks. These exercises will teach them what to avoid, increasing their chances of safety for the real thing.
Taking Action on Suspicious Activities
Finally, phishing and social engineering simulation exercises will teach employees what to do if they become a cyberattack victim. Specifically, there will be instructions on incident reporting, whether the breach has been confirmed or suspected.
Is someone hacking your data? Download our Infographic, “The Top 10 steps to take if you think you have been hacked.” If you’d like, call us and we can talk about how we can customize data security for your unique needs!