If you have come across this blog, you are likely already aware of security compliance’s importance. With 82% of UK companies having reported cyber-attack in 2022, there is no denying that investing in security processes is vital.

More than 31,000 companies have adopted Cyber Essentials, and over 35,000 are ISO 27001 certified, showcasing the growing visibility these programmes have.

With both offering slightly different benefits and financial factors being a determining factor for many, you may be considering which of these compliance certifications would suit your business best. Luckily for you, you have stumbled across a mecca of security compliance knowledge, as at Creative Networks, we are passionate about keeping companies safe.

What are the Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001?

 Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 are compliance accreditations awarded to companies that demonstrate excellent levels of security process awareness. Whilst they have slight differences, the core value within both is having robust measures that protect employees, business continuity, and sensitive data.

As an essential element of any cyber security toolkit, security compliance allows businesses of all sizes to implement the procedures needed to maintain secure options. The awards also showcase to other companies the high level of operational excellence that the awarded company meets, which provides many other business benefits.

Cyber Essentials is a UK-founded security certificate launched in 2014. It was created by the Government and the National Cyber Security Centre; the accreditation helps companies achieve security compliance even if they have a smaller budget.

A focus on firewalls, user control, secure software, malware protection, and patch management achieves high security by adhering to the scheme.

The scheme is also available to organisations outside the UK and has been praised for its cross-country approach to safe online operations. Cyber Essentials is also supported by the Cyber Essentials Plus certificate, which covers the same areas and external vulnerabilities.

Due to its UK-based beginnings, many public sector companies require their suppliers to have Cyber Essentials accreditation. Cyber Essentials is not mandatory, but it offers many advantages to companies that adopt the measures.

You can learn more about what is included in cyber essentials by clicking here.

ISO-27001 is also known as the Information Security Management Certificate. Covering critical aspects of business such as cyber security and data protection; the ISO standard is an essential component of any IT infrastructure for larger companies.

The core management areas focus on people, processes, and procedures to ensure that all protective security measures are firmly integrated into company operations at all stages. Because of this, ISO 27001 can be seen as the string that pulls together each department’s activity to improve the safety of data and information as it is being interacted with. Businesses with this accreditation can work more confidently by promoting a constant awareness of Information Security Management Systems. The parameters are also ideal for hybrid working companies, which are more likely to experience data violations due to various networks that could be used.

The cost to achieve the Cyber Essentials certification starts at £300+vat, whilst ISO 27001 can range from £6,250 to £33,750. Due to its wider coverage areas, ISO 27001 is often adopted by more established companies with a wider area of operations to manage.

What are the Benefits of Obtaining ISO 27001?

Provide Protection from Security Threats

The systematic approach adopted within ISO 27001 has been created to identify, analyse, and resolve all security threats. By delving into the human side of security, companies can create firm processes whilst still operating within their own capabilities.

Information Security Management refers to data inbound and outbound data by a company. Therefore aspects such as hardware and cloud operations are included within the certificate.

Improve Brand Image

ISO 27001 means that a company is compliant with all industry regulations. This improves brand perception by highlighting the importance of ongoing safe operations.

Not only do customers and suppliers look at ISO 27001 accredited companies fondly, but competitors will also be intimidated, making for more dynamic markets. No matter your industry or sector, certain regulations will apply to your business. This standard works to reduce risk across all markets and represent security-aware companies.

This is just one of the many reasons that ISO 27001 has a global growth rate of 20% and is favoured by some of the world’s biggest companies, including Amazon and Microsoft.

Create Succinct Processes

The ISO 27001 standards focus on people and processes regarding protecting data.

As ongoing auditing is a component of the award, achieving the certification ensures that long-term protection is improved. These measures ensure that each department can operate much more efficiently. Having a defined IT infrastructure and a company-wide one means that teams can collaborate seamlessly. Companies can also grow and scale without issues arising, making ISO 27001 ideal for already established businesses or those just starting out.

Tender for More Contracts

Due to its international recognition and thorough auditing, ISO 27001 shows that awarded companies have the processes to support other businesses. This makes trading more accessible and more manageable in terms of how other individuals or companies you work with will be able to instantly obtain a view of your data and operations thanks to the uniform reporting that the ISO standard offers.

Many public and global companies will require ISO 27001 to reduce risk. In this sense, the return on investment can be easily achieved to win more business.

Can I Have Both ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Certifications?

The question that this blog is focused on is whether both Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 are needed at the same time.

There is no hard and fast answer to this, as it comes down to a few factors. No rules in place say you cannot achieve both awards, but the general mood in the industry is that both are not always needed concurrently.

We believe that having either accreditation is a brilliant idea as it protects a company whilst allowing them to operate more confidently in large markets. Due to its lower price tag and self-assessment, Cyber Essentials is recommended for smaller companies. ISO 27001 takes longer to achieve and has a much higher price tag making it a favourable option for more established brands.

When deciding which certificate, you want to achieve, the following should be considered:

  • How much do I want to spend?
  • What resource does my business have to manage the ongoing processes?
  • How invested is my wider business?
  • How quickly do I need to achieve the accreditation?
  • What business needs do I have for security compliance?

All these questions will help you ascertain what award is needed for you.

We advise achieving your Cyber Essentials Certificate and working towards ISO 27001. As ISO 27001 can take a year to achieve, Cyber Essentials means your company still benefits from enhanced security measures whilst the process is underway for ISO accreditation. Another bonus of being Cyber Essentials compliant is that it allows you to put the processes in place that ISO 27001 also measures, meaning it can be seen as a stepping stone to long-term security success.

How Can My Business Achieve Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 Accreditations?

Each business and its security needs are unique. For this reason, your chosen award will be different in many situations. Some may want and need both, whereas other companies will gain just as much with one as they would with both awards.

Our team of experts has lots of experience advising companies on which security compliance measures are best for them, so contact us to discuss your best options. With guided support and ongoing IT assistance, we have helped many businesses achieve Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001. Why not let your company be next?

Want to read more blogs like this? Check out some more content below:

Cookies & Cybersecurity – How are They Connected?

Is ISO 27001 Better Than Cyber Essentials Plus?

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