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Evaluation of a mandatory phishing training program for high-risk employees at a US healthcare system

The study sought to understand the impact of a phishing training program on phishing click rates for employees at a single, anonymous US healthcare institution. We stratified our population into 2 groups: offenders and nonoffenders. Offenders were defined as those that had clicked on at least 5 simulated phishing emails and nonoffenders were those that had not. We calculated click rates for offenders and nonoffenders, before and after a mandatory training program for offenders was implemented. There was a decrease in click rates for each group over the 20 campaigns. The mandatory training program, initiated after campaign 15, did not have a substantial impact on click rates, and the offenders remained more likely to click on a phishing simulation. Our work suggests that, under simulation, employee click rates decrease with repeated simulation, but a mandatory training program targeted at high-risk employees did not meaningfully decrease the click rates of this population. Employee phishing click rates decrease over time, but a mandatory training program for the highest-risk employees did not decrease click rates when compared with lower-risk employees.

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