Guide to ISO 27001 Security Awareness Training

Under ISO 27001, awareness training is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of information security.

The Standard, which describes best practices for implementing an ISMS (information security management system), states that organizations must take a holistic approach to their data protection requirements.

In many cases, organizations interpret this to mean technological solutions, such as antimalware software and password protections, as well as policies that dictate how they are used.

Such measures are essential, but they will be of limited help if the employees using those systems and following those policies don’t understand what’s expected of them.

An information security staff awareness training programme helps address that problem. It teaches employees the risks they encounter in their jobs and explains how they can combat the risk with the tools provided to them.

As such, ISO 27001 staff awareness training should be embedded at the heart of your ISO 27001 compliance practices. In this article, we explain how you can get started.

ISO 27001 training for employees

The requirements for staff awareness training are outlined in ISO 27001 Annex A.7.2.2, which states:

Information security awareness, education and training – All employees of the organization and, where relevant, contractors should receive appropriate awareness education and training and regular updates in organizational policies and procedures, as relevant for their job function.

The staff awareness process is usually overseen by HR, but how they obtain the necessary training materials will depend on the size and structure of their organization.

Large organizations might have a learning and development team who are responsible for building training materials suitable for their employees. However, this isn’t feasible for most businesses, who will be better off using off-the-shelf tools designed by industry experts.

That’s where IT Governance USA can help. We’ve trained more than 7,000 professionals on ISO 27001 worldwide, and have helped more than 800 organisations with their information security compliance and certification projects.

Our experience means we know exactly what it takes to make a project succeed, and we offer staff awareness training courses that share our expertise.

IT Governance USA’s Information Security & ISO 27001 Staff Awareness E-Learning Course contains guidance on everything you need to know about the international standard for information security.

With this 45-minute training course, you can enable your employees to demonstrate their competence in information security and ISO 27001 with digital badges.

The package comes with an annual licence, making it quick and easy to refresh employees’ knowledge on a regular basis.

What else can you do?

Although employee training is the most important part of your training requirements, it’s not the only thing you can do to boost staff awareness.

Experts recommend building a culture of compliance in which effective information security practices are at the centre of your business.

For example, you might hang posters up in the office with key guidance or statistics that remind employees about specific information security threats. Visual reminders reinforce your company culture, and your team will see them every time they are in the office.

Meanwhile, email signatures provide the same sort of subtle, visual reminders about information security threats for remote workers.

Elsewhere, you might consider keeping pocket guides around the office to provide more in-depth explanations of key information security topics.

Whatever methods you use, you must remember that the learning process isn’t something that should be performed once or twice a year and be forgotten about. Staff awareness training is essential, but it’s the building block on which your company culture is built.