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How TMO decreased their click-through rate by 80% with Hook Security

The Michaels Organization

The Michaels Organization is a national leader in residential real estate offering full-service capabilities in development, property management, construction, and finance.


As a real estate and development leader, The Michaels Organization’s mission is to deliver solutions to communities that jumpstart education, housing and bring neighborhoods together. With over 146,000 residents, TMO has developed into an all-in-one real estate Partner. From managing properties and development to construction, TMO does it all. 

As a large company with multiple divisions and locations, TMO aims to find products and solutions that anyone from any department, can utilize. When deciding to kickstart their security awareness endeavor, finding a solution that checked all of their boxes was a must. “It was one of our initiatives to increase security awareness amongst the organization,” says Martha Wallace, Technology Education and Communications Specialist, At TMO. “So how do we capture that for everybody that works at the corporate level and also in the field?” 

“We have a really wide variety of our employee base, and we want to make sure any product that we choose, especially when it comes to training and education, is going to be streamlined and as simplified as possible, so we don’t spend too much time on user engagement or adoption.”


While cybercriminals don’t discriminate when it comes to industry, real estate is a huge target. In fact, one out of three real estate agencies experienced cyber-attacks within the last two years. And it’s not hard to see why businesses in the real estate industry fall prey to these types of attacks as they typically deal with large sums of capital. So securing client and business data is vital to a company’s operations and overall success. And the first step to securing any business is security awareness training. 

Having started with no security awareness training in place, The Michaels Organization began to see a rise in the number of phishing emails their organization was receiving. “[Before Hook Security] we didn’t have anything in place as far as security awareness for our employees,” says Wallace. “We were seeing within the company, at all different employee levels, some phishing going on.” Their employees had not been adequately educated on security risks or proper responses and were unknowingly putting their’s and their company’s data at risk.

Ultimately, TMO needed a solution that all employees could benefit from, and one that aligned with company culture and engaged employees to become confident security defenders. A solution like Hook Security.


One of TMO’s most significant challenges when searching for a security awareness solution was user adoption. “With so many employees in so many different areas of a company, you're not going to get everybody on board at once or in a timely manner when an action is required of them,” says Wallace. “It was a struggle trying to find a product that didn’t require an onboarding process where all of our employees had to do something, click on something, or sign into something to get started.” 

After searching for almost a year, TMO was drawn to Hook Security. With an easy onboarding process, Hook was able to kickstart TMO’s security initiative. “That’s really why we made the decision to go with Hook,” Says Wallace. “Based on user-friendly, seamless onboarding, or virtually no onboarding, content is quick and efficient, and it was easy to implement.” 

“It came down to your content”

“You guys explain specifically, right to the point, what you should be looking for, what you shouldn't do and you also show an actual example of the simulated email.”

Wallace specifically liked our Instant Training videos that point out actual details a user missed in a phishing simulation. 

“We wanted something that could be done right within your email, you don’t have to leave your inbox for your training.”

With the combination of our Instant Training and easy implementation, TMO ultimately chose Hook Security to drive their security awareness endeavor. 


After implementation, TMO communicated the new training program to their employees to let them know what was coming, but also set the tone for a healthy security culture. This included sending videos to their employees that highlight what they can expect and why they were rolling out this training.

Wallace stated that, “When you're rolling out something like this, that’s testing you every month, that's sending you simulated emails, we made sure that we communicated it very carefully so people understood this is part of a training initiative and it’s ongoing. We don’t want it to seem like it’s tricking you.”

“It's a learning opportunity, not a trick.”

To form lasting engagement, each month TMO sends a security newsletter to all of their employees. This allows them to engage with employees, celebrate their wins, and share additional training successes. 

Since incorporating Hook Security’s training, TMO has been able to improve their security awareness posture, decreasing their click-through rate by 80%. “Our fail rate has significantly declined since our baseline test a little over a year ago.” says Wallace. 

The Michaels Organization continues to grow their security awareness training program through Hook Security. “We wanted something that actually was a proactive learning opportunity, not something that is the typical ‘complete this every six months’ training,”  she says. “Something that was ongoing so they could retain the information and apply it in their everyday productivity.” 

“Our fail rate has significantly declined since our baseline test a little over a year ago”

Training all of your employees can be difficult, especially when it comes to security awareness initiatives. Employees don’t want to sit through hours of online training or boring videos. With Hook Security’s Instant Training Moments, employees are able to learn right from their inbox.

Ready to kickstart your security awareness training program? Learn how Hook Security can help your business implement security awareness training your employees will actually enjoy. 

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