KnowBe4 Phishing Research Shows Men 225% More Prone to Give up the Goods

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In the never ending battle of the sexes, it looks as though women are winning the phishing fight according to new research from KnowBe4

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As they are trained with interactive training and simulated phishing attacks we have seen the likelihood of employees being fooled drop considerably, typically down toward the 1-2% mark.--CEO KnowBe4 Stu Sjouwerman

In an analysis done by KnowBe4 of 201,755 phishing emails sent over the past 30 days, it was found men appear to be more prone to clicking on a phishing email than women. In further analysis, when tested over a 120 -day period with simulated phishing emails that lead to a data entry landing page and ask for some input of credentials, men were found to provide data and give up credentials over twice as much as females.

This insecure behavior is the first specific information discovering that type of pattern and has prompted the launch of a detailed scientific study which takes into account gender, position and other factors. It will also evaluate the effectiveness of training methods to remediate these behaviors.

According to KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman, “Most companies hover around an average of having 16% of their yet untrained staff prone to being phished. Over time, as they are trained with interactive training and simulated phishing attacks we have seen the likelihood of employees being fooled drop considerably, typically down toward the 1-2% mark. We are very excited to find out more about these differences and how to make security awareness training even better.”

According to a study from Osterman Research, 5 out of 6 of the most serious concerns of security-focused decision makers are directly related to phishing or its aftermath. The study suggests companies implement a variety of best practices to address the security gaps that have been identified and notes. The study stated: “It is important to invest sufficiently in employee training so that the “human “firewall” can provide the best possible initial line of defense against increasingly sophisticated phishing and other social engineering attacks.”

Small to Medium businesses are selected by cyber criminals as a primary focus for attacks like ransomware using phishing emails as a ploy to get in and gain access. These companies often lack an effective backup or more sophisticated technical solutions but can afford to pay a $500-$700 ransom fee. It is very often these employees that click on emails with malicious attachments. Trend Micro analyzed June-July 2015 time frame with clicks on links of CryptoWall ransomware. A whopping 67% of the links were opened by SMB's. large enterprise followed with 17%, and third came consumers with just 13%. Sjouwerman offered, “Security Awareness Training is really needed for every employee in any organization. It allows you to put in place a more effective human firewall and protect your corporate and financial assets and is now very affordable.”

For more information or to get a free phishing test to see how “phish-prone” your employees are, visit

About Stu Sjouwerman and KnowBe4
Stu Sjouwerman (pronounced “shower-man”) is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4, LLC, which hosts the world’s most popular integrated Security Awareness Training and Simulated Phishing platform. A data security expert with more than 30 years in the IT industry, Sjouwerman was the co-founder of Inc. 500 company Sunbelt Software, a multiple award-winning anti-malware software company that was acquired 2010. Realizing that the human element of security was being seriously neglected, Sjouwerman decided to help organizations manage the problem of cybercrime social engineering tactics through new school security awareness training. KnowBe4 services 1500 organizations in a variety of industries, including highly-regulated fields such as healthcare, finance, energy, government and insurance and is experiencing explosive yearly growth of 300%. Sjouwerman is the author of four books, with his latest being “Cyberheist: The Biggest Financial Threat Facing American Businesses.”

About Kevin Mitnick
Kevin Mitnick, ‘the World’s Most Famous Hacker’, is an internationally recognized computer security expert with extensive experience in exposing the vulnerabilities of complex operating systems and telecom devices. He gained notoriety as a highly skilled hacker who penetrated some of the most resilient computer systems ever developed. Today, Mitnick is renowned as an information security consultant and keynote speaker and has authored four books, including The New York Times best seller Ghost in the Wires. His latest endeavor is a collaboration with KnowBe4, LLC as its Chief Hacking Officer.

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Kathy Wattman
KnowBe4, LLC
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