Examining factors impacting the effectiveness of anti-phishing trainings

Approximately 65% of the organizations in the United States have fallen victim to a successful phishing attack. Many organizations offer anti-phishing training to their employees to defend against phishing attacks. The purpose of this study is to examine factors impacting the effectiveness of anti-phishing training and study the relationship between personality traits and phishing susceptibility. Participants filled out pre- and post-training surveys that included questions on identifying phishing and legitimate URLs and questions to determine DISC (Dominant, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) personality traits. An analysis of the survey data shows that the participants’ average accuracy in detecting phishing URLs increased 8% (t = 2.144, p-value = 0.0374) and their confidence in their answer choices increased 6% (t = 2.032, p-value = 0.0464) from pretraining to post-training surveys. Before and after training, participants with the Influence personality trait had the lowest susceptibility while both Dominant and Steadiness personalities had the highest susceptibility before and after training respectively