Why Security Training Is Mandated for Texas Businesses


To mitigate cybersecurity risks, the State of Texas requires all businesses to provide security awareness training to their employees.

This requirement is outlined in the Texas Administrative Code, which stipulates that businesses must provide “security awareness training” to all employees on an annual basis. The goal of this training is to help employees understand how to protect themselves and their employer from cybersecurity threats.

What are the reasons behind this mandate?

There are several reasons why the state of Texas has mandated security awareness training for businesses. First, cybersecurity risks are constantly evolving, and it is important for employees to be up-to-date on the latest threats. Second, employee mistakes are often the cause of data breaches. By providing training on how to avoid these mistakes, businesses can help protect themselves from costly breaches. Finally, awareness training can help employees understand their role in protecting their employer’s data and reputation.

What types of training are required?

The State of Texas requires that businesses provide “security awareness training” to all employees on an annual basis. This training must cover a variety of topics, including social engineering, phishing, password security, and mobile device security. Let’s take a closer look at each of these topics:

  • Social engineering: Social engineering is the act of tricking people into revealing confidential information. This can be done through email, phone calls, or in person.
  • Phishing: Phishing is a type of social engineering where attackers send emails that appear to be from a legitimate company in an attempt to get the recipient to reveal sensitive information.
  • Password security: Passwords are the first line of defense against cyberattacks. Therefore, it is important for employees to understand how to create strong passwords and how to keep them safe.
  • Mobile device security: With more and more people using their smartphones for work, it is important for employees to understand how to protect their devices from cyber threats.

How often is security awareness training required?

The State of Texas requires that businesses provide “security awareness training” to all employees on an annual basis.

How long does security awareness training take?

The length of security awareness training will vary depending on the delivery method. Training that is delivered in-person will typically be longer than training that is delivered online. Additionally, the size of the audience and the complexity of the topics covered will also affect the length of the training.

What are the penalties for not providing security awareness training?

The penalties for not providing security awareness training to employees are outlined in the Texas Administrative Code. Businesses that fail to provide this training can be subject to a fine of up to $500 per employee. 

Are there any exceptions to the security awareness training requirement?

Yes, there are a few exceptions to the security awareness training requirement. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees are not required to provide this training. Additionally, businesses that have implemented a written information security program that includes security awareness training for their employees are also exempt from this requirement.

How can businesses comply with the mandate?

There are a few different ways that businesses can comply with the State of Texas’s security training mandate. One option is to develop and deliver their own training. This option gives businesses the flexibility to tailor the training to their specific needs and audience. Another option is to use a pre-developed training course. This option is often more cost-effective and can be completed in a shorter time frame. Finally, businesses can hire a third-party provider to deliver the training. This option allows businesses to outsource the development and delivery of the training, which can save time and resources.

No matter which option you choose, it is important to ensure that your security training program is up-to-date and meets the specific needs of your business.