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When creating a security awareness program, the most difficult question security managers face is how to design a phishing email simulation that will work.
Steps to design a phishing email simulation
Choose a target
Choose a target audience for your phishing simulation. This could be a particular department or role within your organization, such as IT or finance. Understand the type of data that could be targeted with a phishing attack and the potential implications.
Design a phishing email
Design an email that looks authentic and would be likely to draw the target’s attention. To do this, research the legitimate emails they receive, and use similar language, design and layout. Choose a realistic scenario. Think about what type of phishing attack you want to simulate. You may want to focus on a specific type of attack, such as a fake job offer, or a more general attack, such as a fake bank alert.
Add a Call-to-Action
Include a call-to-action in the email, such as a link or attachment, which will lead the target to a website or download an infected file. This could be a link to an external website or an attachment with malicious code.
Customize your message
Customize your phishing email so it is tailored to the target’s interests and needs. Make sure the message is urgent and encourages the target to take action.
Send & monitor results
Send out the email. After everything is set up, you can now send out the email to your target. Keep in mind that you should never send out phishing emails to people without their consent. Set up monitoring tools to track how many people open the phishing email and click on the malicious link or attachment. This will provide you with valuable insights into how effective your phishing simulation is.
Follow-up with user education
After the phishing simulation is complete, use the results to educate users on how to recognize phishing attacks in the future. This could include training on spotting suspicious links, attachments, and emails.