Every year, phishing statistics seem to get worse.

The year 2022 witnessed over 4.7 million attacks, with a significant surge occurring in Q4, accounting for 1.35 million of those incidents. This trend indicates a steady annual growth rate of 150% since 2019. There is no doubt that phishing is the leading and most dangerous modern cyber attack.

Recognizing these challenges, Fortra’s Terranova Security, in partnership with Microsoft, is launching the Gone Phishing Tournament 2023.

Launching on October 9 and running until October 27, this event coincides with Cyber Security Awareness Month, emphasizing the importance of a security-first approach in today’s digital landscape.

A Look Back on the 2022 Gone Phishing Tournament

The Gone Phishing Tournament is an annual online event employing real-world simulations to develop precise phishing benchmarks and gather additional data on user behaviors.

Every year is a new test with new phishing simulation templates. Last year, Microsoft provided email and webpage templates replicating a familiar real-world scenario—a gift card scam.

This campaign reached 1.2 million users, making it one of the biggest phishing simulation events.

The 2022 results show that, globally, 44% of individuals who clicked the phishing simulation email link ended up submitting their personal information on the webpage. Immediately after, they were taken to a feedback page that highlighted the warning signs they missed on the spoofed landing page.

The Gone Phishing Tournament aims to raise awareness and foster a robust cyber-aware culture backed by extensive data from phishing simulation benchmarks.

What is Cyber Security Awareness Month?

Once again, the Gone Phishing Tournament is being launched in October to celebrate Cyber Security Awareness Month. This year focuses on four concrete steps organizations can implement to drastically improve their cyber security standing. Here they are:

  • Turn on multifactor authentication
  • Update your software
  • Think before you click
  • Use strong passwords

These four measures play a crucial role in phishing mitigation. For example, 2FA is a second layer of security in case a user falls prey to a phishing email.

While awareness is still the strongest cyber security measure, modern email software boasts multiple protections against phishing. And strong passwords are impossible to guess, even with extensive social engineering tactics.

Why are phishing simulations important?

Phishing threats are getting smarter and trickier to spot, posing a serious challenge for many people. A lot of big-name companies find themselves being targeted by cyber criminals, and dealing with the harmful effects of data breaches can be a steep hill to climb.

But what does this mean for your users? Is there a real chance they could be targeted by cyber criminals?

Recent research gives a clear answer: yes. A study from Terranova Security, in collaboration with Ipsos, revealed that 76% of workers in countries like the UK, Canada, and the US have either faced a cyber attack themselves or know someone who has.

However, more than half of these people (52%) feel that their job has nothing to do with cyber security.

These figures become even more concerning when we think about the high costs linked to a single data breach, which can include data loss, business downtime, reputational damage, idle staff time, and hefty fines.

So, What Can You Expect From Gone Phishing Tournament 2023?

With the staggering numbers from previous years in mind, Fortra’s Terranova Security and Microsoft have been working behind the scenes to craft simulation scenarios that mirror the most cunning and prevalent phishing techniques currently plaguing the digital world.

Expect a more immersive experience designed to test the vigilance and preparedness of participants. The goal remains: to hone users’ skills in real-time threat recognition, ensuring they can swiftly identify and react to phishing attempts in their daily online interactions.

Moreover, the 2023 tournament is set to deliver comprehensive phishing benchmarks. These benchmarks will offer participants a clear measure of their performance against global standards, enabling them to understand their strengths and areas of improvement.

Coupled with extensive feedback mechanisms, every interaction with a simulation will not only be a test but also a learning opportunity, providing a breakdown of potential phishing indicators. By participating, you’re not just bolstering your defense mechanisms but also contributing to a global initiative that refines cyber defense strategies for a safer digital future.

Join the Gone Phishing Tournament 2023

Equip your team with real-time simulations and adaptable training modules, fostering a proactive security awareness culture within your workforce. Here, your employees can experience firsthand how to spot and respond to phishing attempts.

Make the most of Cyber Security Awareness Month by joining the Gone Phishing Tournament. By joining, you’ll be able to see where you stand amid persistent cyber threats, benchmark your team’s performance against peers, and get actionable insights to forge ahead with informed future strategies.

Registrations close at midnight on September 29, 2023. Step up and join us in moving from awareness to action.