Security Awareness Training Compliance Requirements: SOC 2, PCI, HIPAA, and More

by Hannah Grace Holladay / August 9th, 2023

Regularly training your employees is a critical component of compliance and security in your organization. The risk of an employee not understanding the potential security threats facing them as a frontline target could be just the opening that an attacker needs to create a security breach. This is why many information security frameworks and regulations, like SOC 2PCI DSS, and HIPAA, have security awareness training compliance requirements. What are those requirements? What does your organization need to do to ensure compliance? Let’s take a look.

The Importance of Security Awareness Training

The importance of continually educating your employees on the cybersecurity threats they’re up against can’t be stressed enough. Why? Employees are often the weakest link at an organization. Whether it’s because of the limited number of personnel, lack of funding, or misunderstanding of how to follow cybersecurity best practices, focusing on security awareness training can easily become an afterthought. But here’s what you need to know: every single person at your business needs to understand how they could unintentionally compromise your organization by falling for phishing attempts, using recycled passwords, neglecting to follow company-wide policies, or via the plethora of other ways malicious hackers can compromise the integrity of your security.

What Do Common Information Security Frameworks Require?

In order to demonstrate your compliance with many common information security frameworks, organizations must implement security awareness training programs. Take a look at what some of those common information security frameworks and laws require.

  • SOC 2: According to the AICPA, in order for entities to be compliant with the Common Criteria 2.2, entities must “communicate information to improve security knowledge and awareness and to model appropriate security behaviors to personnel through a security awareness training program.”
  • PCI DSS: According to Requirement 12.6 of the PCI DSS, entities must implement a formal security awareness program to make all personnel aware of the cardholder data security policy and procedures.
  • HIPAA Security Rule: According to the administrative safeguard, 45 CFR § 164.308(a)(5), covered entities and business associates must “implement a security awareness and training program for all members of its workforce.”
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule: According to administrative requirements under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, 45 CFR § 164.530(b)(1) says, “A covered entity must train all members of its workforce on the policies and procedures with respect to protected health information…as necessary and appropriate for the members of the workforce to carry out their functions within the covered entity.”
  • GDPR: According to Article 39(1)(b), Data Protection Officers are responsible for “monitoring compliance with this Regulation, with other Union or Member State data protection provisions and with the policies of the controller or processor in relation to the protection of personal data, including the assignment of responsibilities, awareness-raising and training of staff involved in processing operations, and the related audits…”
  • FISMA: According to U.S.C. § 3544.(b).(4).(A),(B) under FISMA, entities are required to implement “security awareness training to inform personnel, including contractors and other users of information systems that support the operations and assets of the agency, of information security risks associated with their activities and their responsibilities in complying with agency policies and procedures designed to reduce these risks.”
  • ISO 27001/27002: According to Requirement 8.2.2 of ISO 27001, “All employees of the organization and, where relevant, contractors and third-party users should receive appropriate awareness training and regular updates in organizational policies and procedures, as relevant for their job function.”

Whether your business has a team of two or five hundred, investing in security awareness training from the beginning reinforces a culture of compliance and helps mitigate the risk of human error causing a security incident.

Partner with KirkpatrickPrice to Create an Effective Security Awareness Training Program

If you’re looking for a cost-effective security awareness training solution for your company, KirkpatrickPrice offers several courses for various frameworks, industries, and experience levels. For more information about the courses we offer or to learn how KirkpatrickPrice can help you meet the security awareness training requirements of many of these common information security frameworks, contact us today!

About the Author

Hannah Grace Holladay

Hannah Grace Holladay is an experienced content marketer with degrees in both creative writing and public relations. She has earned her Certificate in Cybersecurity (CC) certification from (ISC)2 and has worked for KirkpatrickPrice since November 2019, starting first as a Professional Writer before moving to the marketing team as our Content Marketing Specialist. Her experience at KirkpatrickPrice and love for storytelling inspires her to create content that educates, empowers, and inspires the cybersecurity industry.