ISO 27001 – Security Training & Awareness

Guide to ISO 27001_part 7_security training_classroom chairs_blog header

Security training and awareness provides formal cybersecurity education to the workforce. The idea is to focus on security threats of your internal and external environment and to support individual capabilities as part of everyone’s role in the company.

Having received the go-ahead from management for your ISO project, you have defined the scope of your ISMS, identified your information security risks, and deployed mitigating controls. The next step in becoming ISO 27001 certified is to focus on your most important resource – people.

Security Training

Historically seen by some purely as a compliance requirement rather than an effective control, security training is exceptionally pragmatic and helps build a security-oriented culture. Companies looking to implement an ISO 27001 compliant ISMS must provide employees with information security awareness training in accordance with clause 7.2.2.

Your employees are the first line of defence, and it is essential to equip and empower them with the right tools and mindset.

Essentially ISO 27001 looks for continuous training to be incorporated as part of each job description in such a way that security becomes a mandatory long-term responsibility. When you offer training to your employees on a topic, make sure to adapt the language, format, and communication style to deliver your message more effectively. For topics that are too dense in content, it might be a good idea to use additional visuals or videos.

Training should be delivered at planned intervals to support previous lessons and formulate desired habits which are retained long term. Reinforcing critical training, annually at minimum, ensures your employees and culture remain security focused.

A few of these courses are:

  • Acceptable Use of Assets
  • Data Privacy
  • Cybersecurity

Traceability is also mandatory for ISO 27001 competence training. Make sure to keep all employee records indicating the successful completion of the required training using:

  • Learning management system reports
  • Online quizzes
  • Lists of attendees

Promoting Awareness

There is a big difference between training and awareness. When you train your employees, the focus should be on presenting something new and substantial. Awareness programs are continuous and must be used to reinforce the established training message.

There are a variety of different strategies you can apply to improve the retention of security awareness, such as:

Focus on the greatest risks – This principle applies to all types of security training and awareness. Identifying and assessing the key risks related to the most valuable information assets is the most appropriate strategy to prioritize the teams, systems, and data that could create more risk to your organization.

Break the message into topics – The content must be broken down into topics of similar, easily approachable elements. This strategy will prevent employees from being overloaded with new information.

Exercise – Phishing training is a good example of how you can put into practice what your employees have learned. You can also simulate data breaches to test your response process.

Develop Your Program

Information security controls and policies are only beneficial for your ISMS when properly implemented. Creating an ISO 27001 compliant system depends on the execution and commitment of your company and employees.

Training your team based on their roles and responsibilities will ensure effective deployment of administrative and technical controls. To create a successful competence and awareness program, ISO’s requirements outline who needs to be trained, what they need to learn, when, and at what frequency,

In the 8th and final part of our Guide to ISO 27001 Compliance, we will review some requirements regarding the efficacy of your ISMS and how to best monitor your ongoing risk and compliance programs.

How Can StandardFusion Help?

StandardFusion streamlines the management of ISO 27001 requirements, including managing processes and documents associated with your Competence Program. You can create and control historical revisions of your policies and procedures, create a list of tasks with required training for employees and log their completion directly in the platform. Our software can also produce on-demand reports, providing you with an overview of completed training programs for optimized visibility of your security practices. Get in touch with our team and see how StandardFusion can support your team’s training initiatives as part of a wider compliance program.


Part 1 – Implementation & Leadership Support

Part 2 – Establishing Scope and Creating the Statement of Applicability

Part 3 – Mandatory Clauses

Part 4 – Understanding & Communicating with Stakeholders

Part 5 – Risk Management

Part 6 – Defining Controls

Part 7 – Competence, Training and Awareness

Part 8 – Monitoring Efficacy