The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-53 Revision 5 (SP 800-53 Rev. 5) is a comprehensive security and privacy control guideline for federal information systems and organizations. One of the key families of controls within this guideline is the Awareness and Training Family. The primary objective of this family of controls is to establish, implement, and maintain a training and awareness program that effectively educates individuals in an organization about their security and privacy responsibilities and ensures that they are aware of the threats that take advantage of the human element.
Awareness and Training are critical components in the implementation of an effective security and privacy program in an enterprise organization. In today’s technology-driven world, cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and the likelihood of a security breach is increasing. Therefore, organizations must ensure that all personnel who interact with the information system understand the importance of security and privacy, and the risks associated with it. Awareness and Training can help in reducing the likelihood of security breaches caused by human error, such as clicking on malicious links or sharing sensitive information.
To comply with the Awareness and Training Family of controls, organizations can leverage technologies such as Learning Management Systems (LMS). LMSs allow organizations to provide training materials to employees and track their progress, ensuring that they are completing the required training.
The Awareness and Training family includes concepts like Literacy Training and Awareness, Role-Based Training, and the maintenance of Training Records. Literacy Training and Awareness involve educating individuals about the fundamental principles of information security and privacy. It helps individuals in an organization to understand the different types of threats and risks, and how to identify them. Role-Based Training, on the other hand, is focused on providing training to individuals based on their job functions and responsibilities – training that is specific to a role an individual holds within an organization. It ensures that employees understand how their role impacts the security and privacy of the organization. Finally, maintaining Training Records is essential to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements and to provide evidence of the effectiveness of the training program.
The Awareness and Training Family of controls is a critical component of an effective security and privacy program in an enterprise organization. The use of technology solutions such as LMSs can help organizations comply with the requirements of this control family. Concepts like Literacy Training and Awareness, Role-Based Training, and the maintenance of Training Records are essential components of a robust training and awareness program. By implementing an effective awareness and training program, organizations can reduce the likelihood of security breaches caused by human error and improve the overall security posture of the organization.