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Phishing Cybersecurity: 5 Unexpected Human Behaviors Unmasked
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Phishing Cybersecurity: 5 Unexpected Human Behaviors Unmasked

Sindri Bergmann
4 min read ∙ Dec 13, 2023

Cybersecurity hinges not only on technology but also on the actions of the individuals within an organization. AwareGO’s groundbreaking Human Risk Assessment, launched December of 2021, has shed light on the, often, unexpected behaviors that employees exhibit when faced with phishing cybersecurity scenarios. With data from over 1,300 assessments sent to more than 60,000 employees, we dive deep into the complex landscape of human behavior and its implications for cybersecurity. Join us on this journey as we explore the remarkable findings of our first human cyber-risk assessment report.

Picture of Phishing Cybersecurity report from the Human Risk Assessment on background with blue, grey and red graphs

It’s easy to overlook the critical role played by human behavior in phishing cybersecurity. Our comprehensive report, Unmasking Cybersecurity Behavior In Phishing: What Our Human Risk Assessment Reveals,” is co-authored by Dr. Maria Bada, a distinguished behavioral psychologist, and Ragnar Sigurdsson, CISSP and CEH at AwareGO. This report is more than just findings; it’s a roadmap for organizations to navigate the complex terrain of human risk in cybersecurity.

Key Findings in Phishing Cybersecurity

Variable Phishing Awareness: The report sheds light on the significant variability in phishing awareness among employees. This serves as a wake-up call for organizations to bridge the gaps in their employees’ knowledge through targeted cybersecurity training.

Overconfidence in Phishing Detection: With nearly 50% of employees expressing complete confidence in their phishing detection abilities, the report highlights the need for a balanced approach that combines confidence with humility in the face of evolving threats.

Lack of Thorough Email Inspection: Recognizing phishing attempts is one thing, but the report exposes a potential blind spot – a lack of thorough email inspection. It emphasizes the importance of cultivating a culture of scrutiny to ensure employees respond effectively to potential threats.

Difficulty in Identifying Legitimate Emails: Some employees struggle to differentiate between legitimate emails and phishing threats, underscoring the necessity for ongoing education on recognizing the subtle distinctions.

Risk of Forwarding Phishing Emails: The report flags the risk of employees forwarding phishing emails, indicating the need for clear reporting procedures and policies to mitigate this potential threat.

Sneek peek at results from Phishing Cybersecurity report from the Human Risk Assessment showing results from the question regarding confidence in recognizing phishing and ability to recognize legitimate emails

Benefits for Companies:

  • Enhanced Cybersecurity Posture: By downloading and implementing the insights from this report, companies can tailor their phishing cybersecurity training programs to address specific knowledge gaps revealed by the Human Risk Assessment. This targeted approach ensures a more resilient workforce.
  • Mitigation of Overconfidence: The report’s recommendations guide companies in recognizing and addressing overconfidence in employees’ phishing detection abilities. Promoting a more cautious approach and incorporating humility in the cybersecurity culture can significantly reduce the risk of complacency.
  • Improved Email Inspection Skills: Leveraging the report’s insights, companies can focus on enhancing employees’ ability to inspect emails critically. This includes comprehensive checks, such as examining sender addresses and hovering over links, to ensure a thorough evaluation of email legitimacy.
  • Clear Reporting Procedures: The report emphasizes the need for clear reporting procedures and policies to address the risk of employees forwarding phishing emails. By implementing these recommendations, companies can establish a reporting culture that encourages prompt and accurate reporting of potential cybersecurity threats.
  • Targeted Training by Group: By conducting their own human risk assessment, companies can provide targeted training by geographical areas, job titles, and divisions. This ensures that training is tailored to address the specific needs and risks faced by each group, increasing its relevance and effectiveness.

A strategic tool for phishing cybersecurity

The release of “Unmasking Cybersecurity Behavior In Phishing: What Our Human Risk Assessment Reveals” is a game-changer for organizations striving to fortify their cybersecurity defenses. It’s not just a report; it’s a strategic tool that equips companies with actionable insights to transform their employees into a cyber-resilient workforce.

A graph from the Phishing Cybersecurity report showing results for actions taken by participants during email examination.

For organizations serious about reducing vulnerabilities related to phishing and human behavior, this report is a must-read. Download it, dive into the findings, and embark on a journey towards a more secure and aware workplace.

Download the full report for free

Embrace these insights, adapt, and enhance your organization’s phishing cybersecurity readiness with AwareGO. Contact us today to transform your cybersecurity culture and fortify your organization against cyber threats.

Sindri Bergmann
4 min read ∙ Dec 13, 2023

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