Microsoft Adds More User Phishing Details to Attack Simulation Training Service

Microsoft's Attack Simulation Training product now shows more information about how users interacted with simulated phishing attacks, per a Tuesday announcement.

IT pros now get additional information about user interactions with these simulated attacks. They'll know if the phishing message was read, deleted, forwarded or replied to. If the phishing message elicited an automated out-of-office e-mail reply, then IT pros will see that information, too.

Those new capabilities were added to the existing user "telemetry" information that gets collected and charted by the Attack Simulation Training product. Existing capabilities include whether the user reported the e-mail, clicked on a link in it or supplied their user credentials in response to the phishing e-mail.

Also new in Attack Simulation Training is the charting of user responses by time (for instance, in minutes). It's conceived as giving IT pros better insight into how users are interacting with the simulated phishing attempts.

Some users may be reading the simulated phishing e-mails but they don't report them to the IT department. The timeline information from Attack Simulation Training can help IT departments "provide encouragement and reminders on the importance of reporting phishing messages" without delay.

Attack Simulation Training is a Microsoft 365 Defender for Office 365 capability that's available with Microsoft 365 E5 Security or Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 2 licensing. It's uses actual phishing e-mails in its simulated attacks, minus the malicious payloads and malicious links. The product is based on the security approach of Microsoft partner Terranova Security.

Back in November, Microsoft suggested that it was enhancing the educational aspects of Attack Simulation Training to expand beyond social engineering attack information. As part of that effort, it planned to add security educational modules from the SANS Institute to the product.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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