Cyber Security Blog

Stay ahead of the curve with industry trends, cutting edge tech and inventive strategies.

Phishing Simulation Programme: How to Measure Your Success

You’ve taken a proactive step by investing in phishing simulations to enhance your team’s cyber awareness. Yet, like many others, you may find yourself facing the challenge of understanding how to measure and improve from the results.

In this blog post, we will discuss the key performance indicators (KPIs) necessary for effectively evaluating your simulated phishing attack programme. We’ll break down the metrics and signals you need to track, giving you the tools to assess how well your team spots phishing threat attempts.

But it’s not just about understanding the numbers. We’re here to give you practical advice so you can turn data into real improvements.

Image of hands coming through a laptop screen to indicate that the laptop is being hacked

What are the fundamental metrics?

First, we need to identify the important metrics to measure. You should do this before discussing any long-term changes in your Cyber Security culture. The key components of a successful phishing simulation programme are the open rate, click rate, credential entry rate, and report rate. They set the baseline results to compare your future efforts against.

How to measure results over a long-term basis

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s dive into how to measure your efforts over time.

While basic metrics offer insights into individual test performance, understanding the overall effectiveness of your programme requires a broader perspective for evolving threats.

Here, we’ll explore how you can analyse phishing test rates from various angles to grasp the risks within your organisation and evaluate your education initiatives. Differentiating between individual and group metrics is key. If your phishing platform allows user synchronisation by department, you can access metrics at individual, departmental, and organisational levels.

Image of different metrics

However, it’s important to use individual metrics carefully. Naming and shaming people can create a harmful Cyber Security culture. This often leads to less engagement with security training and an increased risk of unreported breaches and successful attacks.

Driving Continuous Improvement: Measuring the impact of Cyber Awareness Training

When measuring phishing simulation results, it’s crucial to look beyond just the immediate metrics. The real value lies in assessing the overall impact of testing employees with your tailored training.

Measurement isn’t just about gauging current training effectiveness; it’s drives continuous improvement. By looking at the data you gathered, you can see trends, patterns, and areas that need improvement. This will help you make your training programme better.

Here are some focused strategies to use measurement for driving improvements:

Use knowledge assessment scores and employee feedback to identify where employees are struggling. This data can guide the development of focused training content that addresses these specific areas.

Checking your test scores frequently can help you identify areas for improvement. This can guide you in seeking the appropriate training to enhance your performance. One example is if many employees have trouble identifying secure websites by their URLs. You could create training that focuses on web security features like HTTPS and how to spot deceptive URLs.

This training would help employees better understand how to stay safe online. This tailored approach ensures that you’re training directly addresses key weaknesses to reduce the risk.

image of someone giving training with a spreadsheet behind him and briefcase by him
Image of an online call with 9 different people on a call on the screen

Continuously monitor how well your security training is working, especially for teams like finance that handle sensitive data. If you see that the finance department initially clicks on a lot of phishing emails, but later, those numbers drop significantly, it’s a clear sign that your targeted training is working. By constantly monitoring, you can adjust and enhance training methods and materials tailored for departments with higher risk levels.

Cyber threats are constantly changing, and your training needs to keep pace. Regular evaluations help you determine if your training is effective against the latest phishing methods. This allows you to adjust your content to better address the complexity of these modern threats.

Ensure your team can recognise and handle advanced tactics such as AI-driven phishing, deep fakes, and QR code attacks. These tactics are becoming more common, so make sure your team is ready to address them. This hands-on approach keeps your training relevant and effective.

Keep an eye on the frequency and severity of security incidents to assess the impact of your Awareness Training. A decline in successful incidents or rise in employees reporting phishing emails suggests better incident prevention and a shift in employee behaviour.

Evaluate different training methods by measuring employee engagement and feedback. This can reveal what’s working and what isn’t, allowing organisations to experiment with innovative formats like interactive modules, gamification, or simulated scenarios.

If your employees find traditional slide-based training boring, you can make it more engaging. One way to train employees is to add interactive elements such as games or virtual reality activities. This shift can make the training more engaging and improve retention of the information, effectively enhancing learning outcomes.

Image of a woman receiving enhanced training through a screen

Measuring and improving over time

Continuous measurement of social engineering attacks is key to assessing the impact of your phishing awareness programme. You can track click-through and reporting rates over time to see how they change and assess each campaign’s effectiveness.

It’s all about monitoring, tweaking, and then reassessing the results. For example, if you notice that click-through rates on phishing simulations are not decreasing as expected, it might indicate that the training content needs to be more engaging or relevant.

It’s important to continuously improve and fine-tune your training sessions and simulations. This will help ensure your team stays alert and responsive to the latest security threats. This cycle of tracking, adjusting, and reviewing is essential for maintaining effective security awareness across your organisation.

Getting Phishing Measurement Right

Measuring phishing can seem like there are endless numbers to track. But what truly matters is ensuring that you spend your time and money wisely and that you strengthen your security culture.

To do this, you need to adapt, and change based on what you learn. Make sure your content and training are personalised to fit each person’s job. Keep your simulations bang up to date with the latest risks.

Then, keep an eye on things, measure what’s happening, and make improvements where needed. That way, you’ll show that all your efforts are paying off by building a tougher security culture.

If you need expert guidance on how to improve your measurement, monitoring, and response in your programme, our team is here to help. Just reach out to us at 0121 663 0055 or email, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Ready to achieve your security goals? We’re at your service.

Whether you are a CISO, an IT Director or a business owner, Equilibrium has the
expertise to help you shape and deliver your security strategy.

About the author

Amelia Frizzell is a skilled Marketing Manager at Equilibrium Security, specialising in Cyber Security content writing since 2016. She blends her marketing expertise with Cyber Security insights to produce practical, informative content that educates your business and promotes security awareness/best practice.
Amelia Frizzell
Marketing and Operations Manager

Latest posts