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When selling security awareness training by email, probably a good shout not to hit 'reply all'

The irony meter is quivering

Oh the irony. A channel account rep trying to drum up business for security awareness training scored an own goal this week when he pressed the send to all option on an email to prospective clients.

The rep, Charlie Hollinrake, works for KnowBe4, which describes itself as the "world's most popular integrated Security Awareness Training and Simulated Phishing platform", and might do worse than eat his own dog food.

"Hi, I saw you'd attended our stand at the IP exp event, thanks for much for taking an interest," the mailer stated. "Are you open to evaluating other security awareness training vendors at this time?"

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The problem was he accidentally sent the message to his list of leads, all 79 of them, including to some potential customers in West Yorkshire Police, the Cabinet Office and resellers/integrators.

The National Security Secretariat's Ben Holland, who was among the list, also replied all to Hollinrake's gaffe, letting him down gently on the evaluation request.

"Unlikely I'm afraid in light of the fact that you have disclosed everyone's email address... bcc is your friend although not on this occasion it would appear. Please remove me from your mailing list."

Working for the Cabinet Office, Holland should know better himself than to "reply all" to the earlier mail, but perhaps he was making a point.

Another on the list agreed: "I'm with Ben on this one. Mistakes happen, but the level of irony here is hard to [deny]. Please also remove me from your mailing list."

Ruth Schofield, UK and Ireland MD at KnowBe4, told us that "team members" can be an organisation's "greatest asset" but are "sometimes its weakest link when it comes to security".

"This particular new employee who was responsible for the communication is due to begin his internal KnowBe4 security awareness and training programme. It's my clear priority to ensure that this does not happen again, she added.

Hat-tip to Doug Johnson who made us aware of the email blunder. ®

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