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5 Core Features Of A Phishing Training Solution For Employees

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DMARC to prevent phishing

Despite the consistent enhancement of modern cybersecurity programs, hackers continue to make a killing through stolen corporate data. That’s because there’s nothing the most advanced security app can do to protect against the biggest cybersecurity threat: human error.

What do we do that makes us the biggest cybersecurity threat? The list of common cybersecurity vulnerabilities caused by people includes:

  • Poor password hygiene
  • Physical loss of storage devices
  • Unsafe file sharing via mobile devices
  • Falling for phishing scams

Unfortunately, there are many more areas of vulnerability too. These three are just some ways human error can cause $$ millions in damages.

Falling for phishing scams, however, is arguably the worst of them all.

What Is A Phishing Scam?

A phishing scam is an attempt to steal sensitive information via fraudulent emails created to look like they’re from legitimate businesses or other trustworthy contacts.

Phishing emails coerce recipients to provide information, like login credentials or credit card details. They typically create and leverage panic by putting forward fake, high-stakes situations that demand urgent action, like:

  • Logging in to confirm suspicious account activities
  • Providing bank account information to verify transactions
  • Clicking and downloading attachments posing as official documents

Once a phishing email lands in your employee’s inbox, there’s little a security program can do to prevent a catastrophe.

The only way to protect against phishing is adequate, enterprise-level security training. But you need to pick the right phishing training solution to get a return on your investment.

Selecting The Right Phishing Training Solution

Here are five critical components to look for in an effective phishing training for employees.

1. Analytics capabilities

To assess if your phishing training solution is working, it must include performance tracking, measurement, and analytical reporting.

It should provide your organization with reporting and failure rates, the two most important metrics in phishing prevention.

Reporting Rates

Reporting rates measure the likelihood of employees spotting and reporting phishing threats.

Failure Rates

Failure rates, however, measure the likelihood of them falling for fraudulent emails.

A rise in either metric will tell a lot about the effectiveness of your phishing training solution. Just be sure you’re not using tests that are either too basic or too difficult. Going too far in either direction can skew your training solution’s analytics.

2. Intuitiveness

When running a phishing training program, employees shouldn’t feel like they’re doing extra work.

Cumbersome training solutions, especially any with steep learning curves, may require employees to work more unpaid hours than are necessary. As such, you need to look for training solutions that are user-friendly, engaging, and rewarding.

Go with a solution with the following traits:

  • Provides concise training content that can be consumed in short bursts
  • Seamlessly weaves training sessions into employees’ daily workflows
  • Allows feedback and/or ratings from employees
  • Offers incentives for good performance
  • Features a user-friendly interface that eliminates the need for tutorials

3. Customizability

A phishing training solution must be customizable to match your employees’ cybersecurity competence, previous training, and organizational responsibilities. You can’t send everyone the exact same tests and expect to get reliable—let alone actionable—results.

Make customizability and personalization key differentiators when comparing phishing training vendors. Other than the degree of customization they allow into simulations, training content, and learning paths, ensure they support the appropriate languages to help your employees achieve satisfactory results.

4. Built-in automation tools

Managing a phishing training campaign is time-consuming and highly disruptive to your security team’s productivity. A training solution with built-in automation features can significantly lighten the load. Rather than requiring your team to manually orchestrate simulations, generate reports, or send training content, your solution should be able to accomplish those tasks on autopilot.

Threat identification and updates

Cutting-edge training solutions also automate internal campaign tasks like threat identification and updates. However, be mindful of implementing these features to avoid over-automation and losing the personalization aspect of your training program.

Despite the benefits of automation, it’s still prudent to pick a solution that allows your security team to assume control over key areas whenever necessary. Better yet, look for a vendor willing to walk and be with you through your training program’s onboarding, configuration, and optimization processes.

You know you’re in good company if your service providers care about your success just as much as you do.

5. Lasting results

It’s normal for phishing reporting rates to rise during a training period. This, of course, directly affects the reporting rate of real phishing emails. But what happens three, five, or ten years after your team’s phishing training starts?

If you want your phishing training campaign to yield long-term results, you need to choose a training solution conducive to behavioral changes. It must include positive reinforcement, frequent training, and ongoing performance tracking to help employees convert training lessons into habits.

Plus, a phishing training program is important to help employees grasp the impact of reporting versus ignoring threats. Through reporting, you build your organization’s resistance against known threats—regardless of who’s on the receiving end.

Top Questions To Ask Phishing Training Vendors

When you are ready to shop for the perfect phishing training solution, you’ll want to query its suitability for your business. Here are a few questions you
to ask:


How many hours should employees expect to spend on the training?


What are the customization and personalization features of your platform?


What metrics and KPIs do your platform’s analytics measure?

Employees Expectations

What should employees expect if they fail or pass a phishing simulation?

Phishing Email Reports Storage

Where do reported phishing emails (simulated or real) go after being reported?

Training Regularity

How often should employees expect to receive training content and simulations?


What language(s) does your training platform support?


How long will it take for our security team to configure and launch a campaign?


Can the training solution be streamlined with other apps in our software stack?


Tell us more about your onboarding process.


How would you charge us for your solution?


Employee training is a key ingredient to bulletproof cybersecurity. It’s the one thing that can protect your company against human error—the biggest risk factor leading to costly data breaches.

Use the information above to pick your business’s best phishing training solution. Remember in your assessment to focus on five key elements, including
analytics, intuitiveness, customizability, automation, and lasting results.