The number of cyberattacks on UK businesses continues to grow. As a company do you know what level of security your business needs? The Government has created a scheme that helps your company understand the essential level of security you need in place.
The scheme is called Cyber Essentials and in this article, we will tell you what it is and why this accreditation is so important to your business.
What is Cyber Essentials?
Cyber Essentials is a Government scheme to create a cybersecurity standard for UK businesses to follow. Companies can be assessed and certified against this standard, which identifies the security controls that a company must have in place within the IT systems to have confidence that they have addresses cybersecurity effectively.
Cyber Essentials focuses on five key strategies towards cybersecurity.
- Boundary Firewalls and Internet Gateways
- Secure Configuration
- Access Control
- Malware Protection
- Patch Management
The Government aims to use the Cyber Essentials scheme to give clear guidance on implementation and to offer an independent certification for any business that wanted that option.
Cyber Essentials is a basic but essential (hence the name) level of cybersecurity. They made it an accreditation so that companies that believe they are taking cybersecurity seriously within their business could benefit by using their accreditation as an extra selling point to customers.
What is Cyber Essentials Plus?
Cyber Essentials Plus includes a technical review of your company's workstations. This extra layer of testing increases the validity of the certification. This extra layer provides evidence of a level of compliance in the following situations.
- Can malicious files enter the organisation from the Internet through either web traffic or email messages?
- Should malicious content enter the organisation, how effective are the anti-virus and malware protection mechanisms?
- Should the organisation’s protection mechanisms fail, how likely is it that the organisation will be compromised due to failings in the patching of the organisation’s workstations?
The Plus level of Cyber Essentials does involve a more thorough assessment of your company and as such provides a greater assurance over your security.
Deciding which level of Cyber Essentials will likely depend on the perception of your customers or suppliers. If the extra level of security assurance is likely to carry weight with them then Plus might be your best option.
Why does my business need Cyber Essentials?
If you are bidding for Government or MOD contracts then Cyber Essentials is pretty much mandatory. However, it is recommended that any company that deals with personal and sensitive data should get certified. The Cyber Essentials process is a great way to assess your company security as well as being a symbol you can show to your clients or customers.
More than ever before customers are concerned about how companies keep their personal data protected. GDPR was put in place to make sure that businesses correctly manage personal data.
The security of the data you store is now a customer expectation. 71 per cent of customers say they would take their business elsewhere after a data breach. The fines and penalties that can be levied thanks to GDPR will pale in comparison to losing 71 per cent of your customer base.
Cyber Essentials is a valuable tool in not only confirming to yourself the level of security you have in place but also to your customers. Having that accreditation means you and your customers know that your cybersecurity is approved by the UK Government.
How do I get a Cyber Essentials accreditation?
The Cyber Essentials accreditation can seem like a daunting process. That is why we work with companies like yours to go through each stage of Cyber Essentials and firstly make sure you understand what they mean and then help you to take the steps to make sure your business meets that standard.
Cyber Essentials is peace of mind for your business and your customers. Having the accreditation means your business has the essentials of cybersecurity in place. Making your customers aware of that dedication to protecting their data can win you lots of fans.