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  • Writer's pictureRafael Iamonti

How to run phishing simulations to increase your organization's security

Phishing simulations can be an effective strategy for reducing cybersecurity-related risks. Through templates and seasonal subjects, you can trainpeople in your organization against social engineering attacks.

Threats related to social engineering are nothing new. These types of scams have been around and grew even more prevalent during the pandemic. Therefore, one of the most common ways of doing this type of scam is so-called phishing.

Phishing is a messaging campaign that seeks to trick users into collecting credentials or gaining access to systems and directories. This type of strategy is always among the main vectors of cyber-attacks.

Messages designedaccording to currenttopics, or a fake communication about an improper access to your account, can be the criminals' gateway.

In this way, these social engineering strategies collect important information, which can be used to carry out cyber-attacks, or gathered and exposed, even to carry out scams.

Why organizations need to investin phishing simulations

Within the corporate context, criminals can send e-mails, and even messages on social networks such as LinkedIn, to share maliciouslinks and steal sensitive data that can be leveraged to execute attacks.

Since phishing attacks can be targeted specifically to collect data from specific organizations, known as spear phishing, it is in the interestof these organizations to prevent people from falling victim to these scams.

Check out this simulation exampleof an electronic contract management platform:

Temos um exemplo de uma mensagem falsa de recebimento de um novo documento em uma plataforma de gerenciamento de contratos eletrônicos
Exemplo de simulação de phishing utilizando uma plataforma de gerenciamento de contratos eletrônicos

Through it, we can see how criminals can use targeted attacks to steal information from different hierarchical levels of an organization.

But how to reduce the risk caused by social engineering?

Organizations have been investing in simulations and constant training to make users aware. Even investing in tools that develop layers of protection and contain suspicious messages, it only takes one person to fall for this type of scam for security to be compromised.

Therefore, it is very important to raise people's awareness. As well as using simulations, training, and quizzes to bring digital security topics closer to everyday life.

Only by adopting efficient strategies can organizations deal effectively with attacks. Criminals keep themselves up to date and everyday use new technologies to execute their attacks.

Scams such as phishing can be the gateway to executing ransomware attacks, or other cybercrimes. Criminals are currently operating ways to develop services that facilitate these operations.

Check out other phishing simulation examples that you can run in your organization.

How to make people aware through phishing simulations

With promotional dates approaching, many stores also start offering big discounts. But it is very easy to fall for a scam. Products that do not arrive and prices that have increased before the promotions are just a few examples.

But criminals also take advantage of these dates to trigger phishing campaigns with the aim of stealing data. In this way they develop fake messages with very attractive offers so that the victims are manipulated into clicking on one of the ads.

So, it is common for attackers to impersonate famous brands to trick people. And it is not always easy to spot such fraud. However, there are ways to make people aware so that they recognize a scam attempt.

Phishing simulations related to online shopping

Through phishing simulations, people can learn to recognize a fake message. To do this we need to be aware of a few signs.

First, note whether you have already registered your corporate email address to receive any such promotion. If you have never done so, you can delete the e-mail before opening it.

Another important point is to check if the e-mail address that sent the message corresponds to the domain of the company that is offering the product.

So here are some examples of simulations that can be related to online shopping. We cannot forget that social engineering scams are constantly changing and involve many processes that can be related to online shopping, from promotions, purchase confirmations, and even payment methods.

Therefore, we have brought two examples of a simulation model.

Fake Payment Confirmation Message Template
Example of phishing simulation of a payment confirmation message

The other model simulates a promotional message for a seasonal date for commerce and retail.

Template of a fake promotion message from an online store
Example of fake promotions used to attract clicks in phishing campaigns

Fake news simulation models

The manipulation of facts and the sharing of false news has been the subject of much debate these days. Typically, many current affairs are distorted and manipulated to spread controversial issues and even false information.

People consume information daily, and with the popularization of the Internet, the possibility of receiving news in real time has become much easier. However, there are negative aspects to the ease of sharing.

It is uncommon for people to check news sources. So, when someone receives an urgent news item that deals with current affairs, they are likely to believe it and not seek to question that source.

Thus, criminals use this fake news to spread malicious links, which can allow victims' data to be stolen. In this way, cybercriminals use fake pages that simulate famous news portals to generate even more clicks.

To avoid this type of problem, people need to be made aware of how to identify this type of scam. In addition, they need to realize the problems of sharing fake news and the consequences it can bring to society, as well as the cyber risks.

Here are some examples of simulations of news portals.

Exemplo de modelo de simulação de um portal de notícias falso
Modelo de simulação de um portal de notícias

How to reduce the risks caused by social engineering

It is very important that organizations invest in a protective barrier that relies on people. In this way, people must be helped to perform their jobs just as effectively.

Organizations also need to communicate directly about the threats they face. In this way, they can increase people's engagement by recognizing the need for protection.

Although every organization has a different scenario, there are many common factors. So, discussing these threats on a regular basis - through announcements, training, or simulations - can ensure that data and information is protected.

Recognize cybersecurity as an investment

Remember, a successful defense against cyber-attacks requires a coordinated effort at all hierarchical levels. Thus, security can also be enhanced through greater recognition by management boards that cybersecurity is a true enabler of business.

Protection strategies, constant training, simulations, and internal policies are just some of the factors involved in cyber security. That's why it is essential to recognize security as an investment, using the right tools to protect your organization.

PhishX can help you create a culture of protection within your organization. With the PhishX ecosystem, you have a library full of simulation models and training content for everyone.

Help people in your organization to recognize phishing attacks. Contact our sales team now.

In the background we see a computer key with the text "Phishing Scam". In the center, we have the text "How to secure your organization through phishing simulations.
Learn how you can increase your organization's protection through phishing simulations

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