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What is Cyber Essentials?

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a simple and effective government-backed scheme designed to help organisations protect themselves against the most common cyber attacks.

Regardless of your business industry or size, you can use Cyber Essentials to help protect your IT network from cyber attacks. The scheme sets out five controls to strengthen your cyber defences:

  1. Use a firewall to secure your internet connection
  2. Choose the most secure settings for your devices and software
  3. Control who has access to your data and services
  4. Protect yourself from viruses and other malware
  5. Keep your devices and software up to date

If your organisation can demonstrate its implementation of the five controls, you can receive Cyber Essentials certification. There are two levels of accreditation:

Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials certification requires the completion of a self-assessment questionnaire which a Certification Body then verifies. The questionnaire assesses whether you meet all the requirements under the five Cyber Essentials security controls.

Cyber Essentials Plus

The next level up, Cyber Essentials Plus, has the exact requirements as the Cyber Essentials certification but also requires hands-on technical verification. The assessment includes specific internal and external tests to validate the correct implementation of the five control categories. 

Benefits of Cyber Essentials

Achieving Cyber Essentials certification brings many business benefits, including:

Improved cyber security

Cyber Essentials provides a framework to improve your internal processes. Implementing these measures can significantly reduce your vulnerability to cyber attacks.

Customer confidence

Being Cyber Essentials certified demonstrates to your customers, partners and stakeholders that you take cybersecurity seriously. It can enhance your organisation’s reputation and build trust by committing to protecting sensitive data.

Bid for government contracts

Many government organisations require suppliers and contractors to be Cyber Essentials certified. So, if you want to work with organisations in the public sector and bid for contracts, you’ll need Cyber Essentials accreditation.

Trusted supplier register

Your organisation will be listed in the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) directory of certified organisations.

Enhanced supplier relationships

Your business may be more attractive to other partners and suppliers, as the certification signals a commitment to cyber security and safe operating practices.

Foundation for enhanced security

Cyber Essentials is a foundation step. Once the basic measures are in place, you can build upon them to implement more advanced security practices.

As you can see, Cyber Essentials offers many valuable benefits and partaking in the scheme is a useful exercise for all organisations.

If you’d like support to achieve Cyber Essentials accreditation, please get in touch. As an accredited Cyber Essentials Certification Body, we can guide you through the process and help you achieve certification.