AT-2: Literacy Training and Awareness

Control Family:

Awareness and Training

CSF v1.1 References:

CSF v2.0 References:

PF v1.0 References:


Previous Version:

Control Statement

  1. Provide security and privacy literacy training to system users (including managers, senior executives, and contractors):
    1. As part of initial training for new users and [Assignment: organization-defined frequency] thereafter; and
    2. When required by system changes or following [Assignment: organization-defined events];
  2. Employ the following techniques to increase the security and privacy awareness of system users [Assignment: organization-defined awareness techniques];
  3. Update literacy training and awareness content [Assignment: organization-defined frequency] and following [Assignment: organization-defined events]; and
  4. Incorporate lessons learned from internal or external security or privacy incidents into literacy training and awareness techniques.

Supplemental Guidance

Organizations provide basic and advanced levels of literacy training to system users, including measures to test the knowledge level of users. Organizations determine the content of literacy training and awareness based on specific organizational requirements, the systems to which personnel have authorized access, and work environments (e.g., telework). The content includes an understanding of the need for security and privacy as well as actions by users to maintain security and personal privacy and to respond to suspected incidents. The content addresses the need for operations security and the handling of personally identifiable information.

Awareness techniques include displaying posters, offering supplies inscribed with security and privacy reminders, displaying logon screen messages, generating email advisories or notices from organizational officials, and conducting awareness events. Literacy training after the initial training described in AT-2a.1 is conducted at a minimum frequency consistent with applicable laws, directives, regulations, and policies. Subsequent literacy training may be satisfied by one or more short ad hoc sessions and include topical information on recent attack schemes, changes to organizational security and privacy policies, revised security and privacy expectations, or a subset of topics from the initial training. Updating literacy training and awareness content on a regular basis helps to ensure that the content remains relevant. Events that may precipitate an update to literacy training and awareness content include, but are not limited to, assessment or audit findings, security or privacy incidents, or changes in applicable laws, executive orders, directives, regulations, policies, standards, and guidelines.

Control Enhancements

AT-2(1): Practical Exercises


(Not part of any baseline)

Provide practical exercises in literacy training that simulate events and incidents.

AT-2(2): Insider Threat


  • Low
  • Moderate
  • High

Provide literacy training on recognizing and reporting potential indicators of insider threat.

AT-2(6): Cyber Threat Environment


(Not part of any baseline)

Provide literacy training on the cyber threat environment; and Reflect current cyber threat information in system operations.