The frequency of cyberattacks throughout the world is on the rise. At several billion euros every year, the damage wreaked by these attacks has reached astronomical heights. One major issue is phishing attacks, which are becoming more sophisticated and targeted by the day so that a phishing attempt can only be detected by the trained eye. Few employees are really aware of the risks posed by cyberspace or are able to recognize when unauthorized persons attempt to gain access to their user data. Technical security solutions alone don’t suffice. If businesses really want to reduce the risk posed by their employees being manipulated and spied on, they have to raise their security awareness. In addition to ensuring that perimeter and endpoint protection is sufficient, the human element also has to be factored into the equation since people frequently prove to be the weakest link in the security chain. What is needed is training transforming them into the strongest link. Fischerwerke, too, was faced with this issue. Known throughout the world for its patented dowels, fischerwerke was badly in need of targeted cybersecurity awareness training in order to minimize its own vulnerability. A goal that was discussed in the annual meeting with Axians IT Security GmbH and was met with overwhelming approval.

Requirements & Goals

The Fischerwerke team not only needed to acquire basic knowledge of cybersecurity but, more importantly, gain a keen awareness of the risks abounding in cyberspace. In order to address its human security gap for once and for all, the security and risk awareness of the entire Fischerwerke team had to be heightened. This was an enormous undertaking that required that all stakeholders throughout fischerwerke be involved. And since fischerwerke’s offices are located throughout the world, security awareness training had to take place in multiple languages. The goal: heighten the awareness of the social engineering exploits employed by attackers.
But what is social engineering all about?
Employees were to be able to recognize attempts to deceive and manipulate them and trick them into responding in the wrong way and succumbing to fraud. Awareness also had to be raised so that emails, documents and storage devices like USB memory sticks are handled securely. From now on, everyone was to be capable of recognizing fake and prepared phishing emails and websites that enable the user to be spied upon, analyzed and manipulated into letting their guard down and inadvertently enable criminals to come into possession of their credentials and other access data.


In order to strengthen fischerwerke´s human line of defense, a security awareness training & simulated phishing platform was introduced by fischerwerke in concert with Axians and Know- Be4. This solution has been successfully used by fischerwerke since February of 2021. It employs simulated phishing attacks taken from individually customizable templates that repeatedly test the employees of fischerwerke and keep them on their toes. To do this, it accesses a huge library of training material that also contains elearnings, videos, games, posters and newsletters. In order for the training conveyed via the platform to have the desired effect, all stakeholders throughout fischerwerke are involved — from executive management and the IT security department through to employees and other involved parties. Training is geared to fischerwerke´s culture and organization, security clearances, strengths, weaknesses, learning type preferences and, with its 35 available languages, adeptly caters to the international character of fischerwerke´s staff. Training is broken down into bite-size, easy- to-digest topics that are consistently refreshed at regular intervals over extended periods of time. The weaknesses of each and every staff member are effectively neutralized, and their strengths sustainably nurtured.

Project Outcome

By taking advantage of the KnowBe4 security awareness solution, fischerwerke was able to roll out the platform for employees in record time. Fischer, a company steeped in tradition, now benefits from a state-of-the-art security awareness platform that makes its workforce fighting fit to face off against the security challenges of today and tomorrow. Instead of relying on simple, one-off training sessions, a trifecta comprised of recurrent training, testing and analysis units is deployed. All participants undergo a constant cycle of training, over the course of which their security and risk awareness slowly and consistently grows. A method that results in a significantly higher, sustained learning effect in practice. If fischerwerke wasn’t already convinced of the expertise of Axians IT Security due to being a customer of many years’ standing, it is now. The continued growth of its own cyber security process by virtue of the KnowBe4 platform is quite a feat and, apart from the purely technical security solutions deployed in the group, people now also take front and center stage. At the end of the day, this solution — in use at fischerwerke since February 2021 — provides for a holistic approach to security from which virtually all businesses can benefit whose staff has varying levels of security awareness. And not only that: they also benefit from their newly acquired knowhow when they are away from work.

Thanks to Axians, we are able to benefit from a cybersecurity awareness training platform that not only provides for a sustained learning effect but an even higher level of security.” Jonathan Haist, IT Security Manager, fischer Group

– Introduce a security awareness training platform
– Raise the risk and security awareness of the Fischerwerke team
– Boost the level of security throughout the Group

– Deployment of the KnowBe4 security awareness platform
– Group-level learning in multiple languages
– Training, testing and analysis units conducted on a regular basis

– Awareness created enabling the secure handling of emails, documents and storage devices like USB memory sticks
– Fast rollout and simple administration of the platform
– Vulnerability within Fischerwerke has been dramatically reduced


Company: fischerwerke GmbH & Co. KG
Sector: fasteners, construction toys
Headquarters: Waldachtal, Baden-Württemberg
Founded: 1948
Facts & figures: Operating at the international level, the Fischer Group specializes in fastener solutions, automotive interiors and construction toys. With its 5,400-strong team located throughout the world, it generated sales of EUR 988 million in 2021.