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How Phishing Security Test Work?

Phishing attacks are a big problem for organizations or individuals. Learn the type of phishing attacks, how phishing security tests work, and understand how to spot and prevent phishing attacks from this blog post. Keep your organization and your personal information safe from phishing attacks.

How Phishing Security Test Work?

This blog post discusses phishing security tests and their significance in combating the rise in sophisticated phishing attacks. It describes various phishing techniques and emphasizes the advantages of using Keepnet's Phishing Simulator to improve organizational cybersecurity awareness and response.

What Are Phishing Security Tests?

Phishing security tests are important exercises that prepare employees to identify and prevent phishing attacks - fraudulent emails, texts, or calls aiming to steal information. By using phishing simulation tools like Keepnet Labs' Phishing Simulator, organizations simulate real-life phishing emails in a safe environment. This hands-on approach allows employees to experience phishing attacks firsthand, teaching them to spot, report and prevent phishing threats.

The results from these simulation tests give companies insight into areas where their defenses might be weak and where further security awareness training is needed. Conducting these simulation tests regularly not only improves employees' skills in recognizing phishing attempts but also strengthens an organization's overall cybersecurity measures. It's a must to do step in protecting your organization’s data against phishing cyber attacks.

The Goals of Phishing Security Tests

Phishing security tests are important for improving an organization's cyber defense against the common threat of phishing attacks. These tests have two main goals: identifying human vulnerabilities and boosting employee awareness and reaction to phishing.

Identifying Vulnerabilities in Human Factors

The primary aim of a phishing security test is to spot weaknesses in how employees respond to phishing attempts. By simulating real-life phishing threats, organizations can see where their employees are most at risk. This insight allows for launching targeted training, reducing the chance of a successful phishing breach.

Enhancing Employee Awareness and Response to Phishing

These tests also aim to increase employee awareness and their ability to identify and stop phishing threats. Regular practice with simulated attacks trains employees to spot suspicious emails, texts, or calls, making them a strong first line of defense against social engineering threats. In turn, this training helps transform employees from potential security risks into key assets in the fight against phishing.

The Rising Threat of Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks have grown in popularity in recent years. These schemes designed to steal sensitive information have become more common and sophisticated in their techniques. According to estimates, approximately 3.4 billion fraudulent emails (according to AGG in 2024) are sent out each day.

As a result, the number of complaints to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Centre has skyrocketed. Every year, the organization receives over 651,800 reports about phishing, demonstrating how widespread this problem has become.

How Does the Phishing Security Test Work?

A phishing security test is a controlled exercise designed to assess how well employees can identify and respond to simulated phishing attempts, mirroring the tactics used by cybercriminals. This process involves several steps to ensure the test is both effective and educational.

Step 1: Planning and Design

The test begins with careful planning, where cybersecurity experts select the type of phishing attack to simulate. This could range from email phishing, smishing (SMS phishing), vishing (voice phishing), quishing (QR code phishing), Callback (TOAD phishing), to MFA phishing. The simulation is designed to be as realistic as possible without causing actual harm, ensuring it provides a genuine learning experience.

Step 2: Execution

Once the phishing scenario is crafted, it's launched to target the organization's employees. These simulated attacks are sent out without prior warning to mimic the unexpected nature of real phishing attempts. The goal is to see how employees react—whether they recognize the phishing attempt, ignore it, report it, or fall for it.

Step 3: Monitoring and Data Collection

Throughout the test, cybersecurity teams monitor engagement with the phishing attempt and collect data on how individuals respond. This includes tracking who opened the email, clicked on any links, submitted information, or reported the phishing attempt.

Step 4: Analysis and Feedback

After the test concludes, the cybersecurity team analyzes the data to identify patterns, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This analysis helps in understanding the current level of phishing awareness among employees.

Step 5: Education and Training

The final step involves providing feedback and education to the employees. Those who fell for the phishing test are usually offered additional training to better recognize and respond to future simulation phishing attempts.

Against Which Phishing Attacks is Phishing Security Testing Used?


There are several types of phishing techniques that cybercriminals use to trick people and steal sensitive information. Also, the following phishing types are used in phishing security testing.

Some of the most common types of phishing that people should be aware of are:

  • Email Phishing: The most common form, where attackers send phishing emails designed to look like they're from reputable sources to trick individuals into revealing personal information.
  • Vishing (Voice Phishing): Here, scammers use phone calls to steal personal and financial information. They often pose as representatives from banks or government agencies to appear legitimate.
  • Smishing (SMS Phishing): Similar to email phishing, but carried out through SMS texts. These messages often contain malicious links or request personal details.
  • Quishing (QR Code Phishing): A newer method where attackers use QR codes to direct victims to phishing websites. Unsuspecting users might scan these codes, thinking they are legitimate.
  • Spear Phishing: Spear phishing attack targets specific individuals or organisations. The hackers spend time gathering personal details about their targets to make their fraudulent communications more convincing.
  • Whaling: A form of spear phishing, but aimed at high-profile targets like CEOs or other senior executives. The goal is often to steal large sums of money or sensitive company information.
  • Callback Phishing (Telephone Oriented Attack Delivery): This involves scammers leaving a message or sending suspicious emails that prompts the recipient to call back. When the victim calls the provided number, they are led to believe they are communicating with a legitimate entity and are tricked into providing sensitive information or making payments.

Watch the following Youtube video and understand the details types of phishing threats and how to avoid them.

Why Should You Use Phishing Security Test?

Phishing security tests serve several important purposes for any organization. Firstly, they assist in determining who is most likely to fall victim to a phishing attack. This provides valuable information for tailoring security awareness training to the weaknesses of higher-risk employees.

Secondly, these exercises keep cybersecurity at the forefront of everyone's minds and encourage people to reconsider risky behaviors. The tests are more engaging than traditional training alone because they simulate actual attacks and prompt employees to reflect on habits that may leave them vulnerable to manipulation.

Thirdly, phishing tests serve as key indicators of incident response effectiveness, evaluating how plans would perform in a real-world data breach scenario. Organizations can examine response times and coordination, both of which are critical in the event of an actual incident. These tests aid in identifying and filling gaps in incident response strategies before real problems arise.

Fourthly, the tests uncover potential technical weaknesses within an organization's systems. Analyzing how employees respond offers security teams useful insights, highlighting technical flaws or areas where defenses may need strengthening.

Finally, running phishing tests demonstrates a commitment to security, which is becoming increasingly important when selecting vendors or keeping customers. Organizations that actively participate not only reinforce a strong internal security culture but also provide tangible proof of employee training and security protocols to external partners. This provides important third-party validation of a company's cybersecurity posture.

Your Next Steps

Use Keepnet Labs platform to protect against phishing attacks with social engineering simulation tools and security awareness training. By using the simulation tools like Phishing, Smishing, Callback, Vishing, Quishing, and MFA Phishing Simulation you can train your employees to recognize and respond to sophisticated phishing threats effectively. This proactive approach can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to social engineering attacks.

Watch our product demo video on YouTube to learn more about Keepnet Labs’ products and their features and capabilities.



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tickSend automated simulated phishing tests & security awareness training to your employees to practice phishing attacks.
tickCreate high-level executive reports that contain your organization's overall phishing risk score and employees' awareness of phishing simulation attacks.
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