An email sent to employees of Chicago-based Tribune Publishing, parent company of the Chicago Tribune, told recipients that they would receive $5,000 to $10,000 in bonus payments, "as a direct result of the success created by the ongoing efforts to cut our costs." (Adam Jones, Ph.D. via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

A simulated phishing email that used the false promise of company bonuses as a lure to trick employees has ignited a debate over the ethics of security awareness testing that potentially engender distrust and hard feelings.

On the one hand, simulations should mimic real-life phishing campaigns as closely as possible, security awareness experts argue. On the other hand, an insensitive training exercise can place your company in bad standing with employees.

Please register to continue.

Already registered? Log in.

Once you register, you'll receive:

  • News analysis

    The context and insight you need to stay abreast of the most important developments in cybersecurity. CISO and practitioner perspectives; strategy and tactics; solutions and innovation; policy and regulation.

  • Archives

    Unlimited access to nearly 20 years of SC Media industry analysis and news-you-can-use.

  • Daily Newswire

    SC Media’s essential morning briefing for cybersecurity professionals.

  • Learning Express

    One-click access to our extensive program of virtual events, with convenient calendar reminders and ability to earn CISSP credits.