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Don't Let Employees Fall Through the Cracks

Wouldn't it be nice if you could purchase a phishing email simulator and be good to go? Although phishing campaigns have high success rates in changing the behavior of most employees, you must decide how you will handle those few employees who keep falling for phishing emails. These few employees put your business at risk because it only takes one employee and one click, and you could be closing your doors.


What Can You Do?

There are a couple of ways you could handle these employees. Perhaps you believe creating policies with consequences for failed security behaviors is the best route. But consider this, if your employees think the Human Resources team is working with the Security team to monitor their security-related behaviors, they may begin to feel tension and distrust. When employees don't feel safe admitting to mistakes, they resort to hiding their errors instead. Your employees may realize they clicked on something they shouldn't have, but if they don't trust their supervisors, they'll opt to keep it to themselves. Consider the culture and environment you create at your workplace. Hopefully, you are not using your phishing simulator to trick them but rather to teach them. Do your employees feel safe reporting a mistake right away, or do they fear the personal consequences?

On the other hand, if certain employees still don't seem to be learning from the phishing simulation exercises complimented with security awareness training for reinforcement, you must address it.


Assess the Risks

Look at the level of control access for these employees. Determine if they have access as a local administrator to programs vs. basic network access. Moreover, if employees who continue to fall for phishing emails also have access to funds or other sensitive data, you may need to reconsider their access. In other words, would you let an employee continue to be the last to leave if you discover they have forgotten to lock the office down several times?

Human error is inevitable, so as the employer, you'll have to determine how much freedom your employees can have to learn from their mistakes and where you can no longer accept the risk because it is too great. Employees are bound to email the wrong person or forget to document something at some point in time.


Reinforce Phishing with Training

The best way to help the knowledge stick and start noticing improvement in security-related behaviors is to reinforce as much as possible. That means that every staff meeting should touch on it, and it should be included as part of an employee's performance review. Address how well each employee practices security-minded behaviors. Try to display reminders and educational material around the office. Then, when news hits of another common phishing email going around, take time to inform your team. Remember, you can't test employees with phishing simulations and expect good results without training them on the signs of a phishing email. Ensure you have a training program that regularly explains the dangers of phishing and how to avoid falling for the trap.

Eventually, even those employees who continuously fall for the bait will change course when they have enough reinforcement. Remember, you'd much rather your employees feel safe to admit error, allowing for better damage control, than to keep it to themselves out of fear.


TechGuard Security's S.H.I.E.L.D. Training Platform and Phishing Simulator are everything you need to start educating your employees on the dangers of phishing and other cybersecurity risks. Get started protecting your business today.

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Written by TGS Author