What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials and how it can help businesses stay Cyber Secure

Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed scheme intended to help organisations protect themselves against a whole range of the most common types of cyber threats.

There is an ever-growing threat of cyber attacks on businesses each year. One of the most common types of cyber threats on businesses comes in the form of malware.

Malware is designed to trick and mislead the user into downloading an infected link or attachment. However, businesses experience various types of cyber threats all the way from a password breach to a ransomware threat where data becomes completely compromised and encrypted.

Becoming Cyber Essentials certified comes with a range of benefits, such as providing your business with approximately 98.5% protection against cyber attacks. This not only gives you as the business owner the peace of mind that your data is secure, but it also reassures others that your business is safe to work with (Cyber Smart).

For certain organisations, such as the likes of NHS for example, the Cyber Essentials certification is a mandatory requirement in certain cases.

Cyber Essentials Scheme Summary

Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises (IASME) developed the Cyber Essentials scheme alongside the Government and Information Security Forum (ISF). The IASME Cyber Essentials is suited to all organisations, of any size, in any sector.

The scheme was officially launched back in June 2014 and has enabled thousands of organisations to not only gain a single Cyber Essentials accreditation but also work towards Cyber Essentials Plus, which is a much more extensive and invasive accreditation process.

Most businesses do understand the importance of cyber security and the impact that cyber attacks can have on their operations. If we take a look at recent studies, the average cost of cyber security breaches in the last 12 months in the UK equated to £2,670 across all businesses (Statista). However, it is important to remember that the financial aspect of cyber attacks isn’t the only repercussion that a business will suffer from, but also the time that will need to be spent on recovery.

NCSC and Cyber Security

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is a UK national cyber security organisation that closely works with the UK Government to help manage major cyber incidents and protect critical services from cyber attacks.

You can think of NCSC cyber security as the bridging gap between industry and government. They also release regular sources, advice, guidance, and support on cyber security topics that you can view here.

How to get Cyber Security certification

To get the UK Cyber Essentials certification, you will be required to undergo a technical audit that will feature a series of internal vulnerability checks and assessments.

We have broken the process down into 5 simple steps:

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Documentation

A document will be sent across to you which will help to identify any vulnerabilities in your security controls.

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Discussion

There may be a few more questions prior to your assessment that will need to be addressed.

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Assessment

This involves answering a series of self-assessment questions that will be reviewed. Advice may be given if any changes are required.

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Certification

Congratulations! If your evaluation process has been successful, you will be notified and sent your Cyber Essentials certification.

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Renewal

As you may be aware, cyber attackers constantly find new ways of attacking businesses. This is why the Cyber Essentials accreditation is only valid for 12 months and will need to be renewed annually.

Cyber Essentials is a crucial factor in ensuring that your business is secure and follows the best IT practices to minimise the risk of cyber threats targeting your business. It also indicates to other organisations that you take a proactive approach to ensuring that your business is secure against common cyber attacks.

Further benefits to Cyber Essentials include:

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Customers are reassured that your business demonstrates secure IT practices and procedures against cyber attacks.

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You gain an understanding of how secure your business is against cyber threats.

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You don’t need to worry about contracts (some government contracts require businesses to be Cyber Essentials certified).

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Attract new businesses that trust you with their information.


 

Principally, all businesses should consider becoming cyber essentials certified to ensure that they are adequately protected against common cyber threats that could significantly cost your business. If you are not yet cyber essentials certified, we can help you through the cyber essentials process. Click here to find out more.

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