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Navigating Compliance Standards: Security Awareness Training as the Key to Protecting Sensitive Data

May 2, 2023  | By: Stephen Boals

Helping organizations maintain a secure environment for sensitive data

In today’s digital landscape, ensuring the security and privacy of sensitive information is a top priority for organizations across various industries. Security Awareness Training is a crucial component in maintaining a secure environment, helping employees understand their roles in safeguarding sensitive data. Several compliance standards and regulations mandate Security Awareness Training to minimize the risk of data breaches and other security incidents. In this blog post, we will delve into the key compliance standards that require Security Awareness Training and discuss the benefits of implementing a comprehensive training program.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

The PCI DSS is a set of security standards designed to protect cardholder data during credit card transactions. Requirement 12.6 of the PCI DSS mandates organizations to implement a security awareness program, ensuring all personnel are aware of the importance of cardholder data security. Training should be provided upon hire and at least annually, with updates reflecting changes in the threat landscape and the organization’s security infrastructure.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA aims to safeguard the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI). It requires covered entities and their business associates to provide training on privacy and security practices for employees who handle PHI. The HIPAA Security Rule emphasizes the need for workforce training and management to ensure proper handling and protection of sensitive health information. Read our HIPAA + Awareness Training Compliance Case Study

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR is a comprehensive data privacy regulation that applies to organizations operating within the European Union or processing the personal data of EU citizens. Article 39 of the GDPR specifies that organizations must provide data protection training to employees who handle personal data, ensuring they understand their responsibilities in maintaining privacy and security.

Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)

FISMA applies to U.S. federal agencies and their contractors, requiring them to provide security awareness training to employees with access to federal information systems. Refresher training must be provided at least annually to ensure that employees stay up-to-date on best practices and security policies.

ISO/IEC 27001

ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard for information security management systems (ISMS). It requires organizations to provide regular information security awareness training to all employees, ensuring they understand their roles and responsibilities in maintaining a secure environment for sensitive data.

Security Awareness Training is a critical aspect of maintaining the security and privacy of sensitive information across various industries. By adhering to the compliance standards outlined above, organizations can reduce the risk of data breaches, improve their overall security posture, and demonstrate a commitment to protecting sensitive data.

Implementing a comprehensive Security Awareness Training program not only helps organizations meet compliance requirements but also empowers employees to become active participants in safeguarding sensitive information. Investing in employee education and creating a security first culture can ultimately result in a more secure environment for everyone.

Learn about how cyberconIQ’s Security Awareness Training provides a pathway to compliance today.


For more information on improving your existing security awareness programs, lowering your human risk, and creating a cybersecurity cultural framework, contact us today.