Why Security Awareness Training Is Important For Compliance

Post by
Net Friends
Businesses are rapidly adopting the latest technological innovations to maintain their competitive edge in the marketplace.

According to Gartner, global IT expenditure should increase by roughly 9% to $4.2 trillion by the end of 2021. Unfortunately, this growth is accompanied by a rise in cybersecurity attacks, prompting increased security awareness, security training, and adherence to the applicable security standards.

Several industry standards mandate regular security training programs for companies who wish to maintain their compliance requirements. Let’s discuss a few of these security standards and frameworks, and their relevance for business continuity.

HIPAA & Security Awareness Training

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that prevents disclosing protected health information (PHI) without a patient’s knowledge or consent.

Businesses that must maintain HIPAA compliance include:

  • Healthcare providers (of all sizes)
  • Health plans or health insurance providers
  • Healthcare clearinghouses
  • Business associates that handle patients’ PHI

What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule?

Healthcare institutions and associated organizations must comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule that safeguards patients’ right to privacy while allowing necessary use of their PHI to provide healthcare. The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires security training as outlined in Privacy Rule 45 CFR § 164.530(b)(1):

What is the HIPAA Security Rule?

The HIPAA Security Rule protects a subset of PHI that’s covered by the Privacy Rule. This subset of PHI is “electronic protected health information” (e-PHI) stored in an electronic format. The HIPAA Security Rule also mandates security awareness training as stated in Security Rule 45 CFR § 164.308(a)(5):

Security training and complementary IT security standards lie at the heart of HIPAA compliance.

RELATED SUGGESTION: How An MSP Helps You Prep for HIPAA Audits

PCI-DSS & Security Training

Organizations that process card payments must comply with PCI-DSS. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is a set of compliance requirements mandating all companies that process, store, or transmit payment card information to maintain a secure environment.

Six goals guide the PCI-DSS:

  1. Build and Maintain a Secure Network
  1. Protect Cardholder Data
  1. Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
  1. Implement Strong Access Control Measures
  1. Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
  1. Maintain an Information Security Policy

Goal #6 encompasses policy for employees’ and contractors’ compliance. Security awareness training programs are critical for payment card data protection.

Complying with PCI-DSS has several benefits:

  • Secure systems & increased consumer trust regarding their sensitive payment information
  • Improved customer confidence and loyalty
  • A better reputation with payment brands
  • Prevent security breaches and payment card data theft now and in the future
  • Promote international payment card data security
  • Ensures a better preparation for compliance with other regulations, such as HIPAA
  • Better corporate security strategies
  • More robust IT infrastructure and greater efficiency

NIST SP 800-53

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SP 800-53 defines the standards and guidelines for federal agencies to build and manage their information security systems.

The NIST SP 800-53 protects each agency’s and citizens’ private data. This standard is mandatory for federal information systems, organizations, agencies, and any organization that works with these institutions.

Net Friends Pro-Tip:
However, while NIST SP 800-53 focuses on federal agencies, its guidelines are easily adaptable by any organization that operates an information system with sensitive or regulated data. You can leverage its catalog of privacy and security controls to create security training programs to help your team protect against diverse threats of all categories.

The goal of NIST SP 800-53 is threefold:

  1. Provide an extensive & flexible catalog of controls to keep abreast of evolving technology & threats
  1. Develop a basis to evaluate the effectiveness of controls
  1. Improve communications about risk management

NIST SP 800-53 generates several benefits for your company. These benefits include: managing supply chain risks, leveraging controls to yield the best results, and compliance assessments that reveal vulnerabilities for correction.

ISO 27001 & ISO 27002

The International Organization for Standardization is a global non-governmental entity that provides common standards in critical areas:

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 offers guidelines to establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, maintain, and improve an information security management system (ISMS). However, ISO 27001 does not offer specific information security controls.

ISO 27002

In contrast, ISO 27002 is an extensive set of information security control objectives and good practices for security controls. This standard has 12 sections for compliance:

Regular security awareness training is crucial to comply with industry regulations. This process will ensure a dominant marketplace presence and a greater competitive advantage.

Security Training Boosts Business Success

These regulations ensure that your staff is adequately equipped with security awareness training to remain compliant. The business benefits of regular training include:

  • A high return on investment (ROI) since security training is a low-cost investment—compared to the high cost of a security breach.
  • Investing in training and meeting compliance requirements will significantly reduce the probability of cybersecurity incidents.
  • Security awareness training helps to improve your company’s security posture.
  • Security training is a part of a multi-layered approach to manage cybersecurity threats to protect your business, customers, and other stakeholders.

Are you ready to invest in security training programs? Net Friends can help! Contact us to discuss how we can help your company meet compliance regulations and build trust with your target customers.

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