How to effectively train your collaborators following a phishing simulation?

Lïa Desmousseaux de Givré

Lïa Desmousseaux de Givré

Orchestrating realistic phishing simulations is just the first step in improving your company's resilience. So, let's look at how to properly train your employees after a phishing simulation.

Post-campaign awareness is crucial in phishing training. It is at this stage that you can educate your employees, gather their feedback, and continuously improve your strategy to strengthen your resilience against digital threats.


At Arsen, we place great emphasis on the company culture regarding security and how to approach practical exercises such as phishing simulations.

Your mindset and that of your employees are crucial in the quality of their training. It influences their engagement in your awareness campaigns and therefore the results.

Phishing simulations should be perceived not as a way to trap colleagues, but rather as the best way to support them and make them stronger in the fight against cyberattacks. One of the ideal moments to establish or reinforce this mindset is after a phishing simulation.

The entire workforce must demonstrate teamwork to secure your company. The confidentiality of its data, its financial health, and its reputation are essential for its sustainability. It is important for your employees to see the direct link between the company's cybersecurity and the security of their jobs. This can be compromised following the difficulties caused by a cyberattack.

That is why it is necessary to raise awareness of the global impact that human error can have. The whole team can be affected, and it is by uniting forces and understanding the various issues that your employees will be more involved.

Take the time to explain the possible consequences of phishing campaigns in order to establish a vigilant mindset that is attentive to any threat and ensure that you are perceived as a resource, an aid in the fight against phishing, and not as the "tricky" CISO.

Post-mortem: debriefing a campaign

The post-mortem is often an opportunity to provide theoretical awareness with strong engagement. The closer the theory is in time to the practical aspect, the more the employees will have a practical experience to relate to the theoretical content. Your employees are more likely to remember practical information right after being caught than 3 weeks later.

After a fake phishing campaign, it is interesting to communicate the results and implement actions to address the identified vulnerabilities. Review the different scenarios and the different content presented at the time of compromise to explain the indicators that can be used to identify phishing attempts.

Reporting the results

During the reporting of the results, it is important to anonymize them to avoid antagonizing certain employees. You can, for example, group them by department, profession, or geographical distribution and communicate their scores. This approach allows for result comparison and possibly fosters healthy competition without singling out specific individuals.

No one likes to be singled out, that's obvious. Instead, opt for positive reinforcement: highlight good behaviors, not those to avoid.

It can be interesting to hold physical meetings for these post-mortems, especially with people who have exhibited the riskiest behaviors. Face-to-face, this information will be better integrated by your colleagues than when presented in conventional training sessions unrelated to a practical experience. Simply repeating and dissecting each point will help your employees remember them better.

Awareness Content

Testing your employees is not enough: you also need to provide them with the answers to the problems you raise. You must provide them with the keys and tools to better defend themselves in case of an attack. Advising and guiding them is essential in anti-phishing training. This will strengthen the team spirit and your perception as a resource.

You can organize workshops with external experts to develop better vigilance for the future. Calling on external speakers helps break the routine of the CISO constantly crying wolf or simply delivering the same message in a different way.

Implement pages or content to improve the weaknesses you have identified during the campaigns. This way, you will improve your awareness strategy over the course of the campaigns.

Stay attentive

You must also remain open to questions and remarks. Learning to listen to your colleagues is a major aspect of pedagogy.

On the one hand, they will appreciate your attentiveness, which will strengthen the team spirit. Some scenarios may bother your employees or they may not feel comfortable with this exercise. Listening to them will help you identify areas for improvement in your communication and simulations.

On the other hand, your employees' feedback allows you to better understand their approach to fighting phishing and therefore continuously improve your phishing exercises.

Lastly, the established dialogue allows you to explain to your employees the potential consequences of phishing and to focus more precisely on points that may lack clarity for some.

These exchanges will be valuable in analyzing the different results. You will better understand why certain people fail the tests and how to improve their resilience. You can then adapt the scenarios and awareness content to strengthen your resilience.

Awareness within the simulation

An underutilized approach to sensitization is immediate awareness after compromising actions by employees. This method allows you to train your employees while the mistakes they have just made are still fresh in their minds, facilitating their learning.

That is why we recommend redirecting employees who fall into the trap to awareness content at the very moment they perform a potentially dangerous action.

This option is available in our phishing training platform, and we advise you to use it in the majority of your phishing exercises.

During debriefings, expand on the information you provide in these contents. Review the different scenarios and the different content presented at the time of compromise. Simply repeating and dissecting each point will help your employees remember them better and develop their reflexes.


You must establish a mindset and a culture of digital security in your company.

After a phishing simulation, it is important to organize a campaign debrief to learn from the experience your employees have gone through in order to achieve better engagement in your awareness content.

Take advantage of these post-mortems to conduct question-and-answer sessions and initiate a dialogue to understand the feelings of the individuals tested and refine your awareness strategy.

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