Cyber Essentials is a fantastic form of security compliance to have under your belt as an organisation. Not only does it ensure you are protecting your business and working safely, but it also shows others how serious you are about combating cybercrime.

You can expect to spend from £300 on achieving Cyber Essentials. This cost is in addition to the money that must first be invested in creating a high-performing security network. With many organisations spending at least 5.6% of their IT budget on cyber security, the costs can quickly increase when achieving this compliance award.

Passing Cyber Essentials, the first time is important if you don’t want to waste your budget. If you have encountered this article, you are likely considering achieving the Cyber Essentials award. Luckily, you have clicked on the right place, as we are experts in helping companies pass first-time.

Please keep reading to learn our tips and tricks. Our aim is that passing the first time is assured, not just luck.

What Is Required for Cyber Essentials?

Knowledge is power, especially regarding anything to do with cyber security.

You must know what your company is expected to achieve to help you strategically plan for passing Cyber Essentials the first time. Understanding the purpose of the core pillars is also crucial, as it will allow you to implement processes in a way that works seamlessly with your company’s IT infrastructure.

Why is this vital? Not only will it ensure your entire company are on board, but it will give you a greater success rate when it comes to fighting cybercrime. In fact, Cyber Essentials can successfully stop 80% of security attacks, which we can all agree is an impressive number!

You should also consider the benefits that your business will obtain if they pass. Whilst Cyber Essentials not mandatory in the UK, it is a highly respected form of security compliance which does form many public sector tender processes. 

To pass Cyber Essentials, you will need to achieve the following:

  • Ensure that your entire business implements and adheres to each of the five core pillars. Security Configuration, Malware, Patch Management, Firewalls, and User Access Control comprise these pillars. Cyber Essentials is self-assessed, but to pass, you must still demonstrate that your security systems are resilient and working correctly.
  • Instil a company-wide understanding of Cyber Essentials and what needs to be followed to ensure it is constantly being met. You should act as though you have already passed when creating your compliant IT network as this will give you a better chance of long-term adherence. You can then also successfully prepare for the Cyber Essentials Plus award once you have achieved the Essentials certificate.
  • You will also need to implement the pillars into your IT infrastructure and ensure that aspects such as scalability and risk management have been considered. Cyber Essentials should be considered the foundation of your company’s security measures.

To find out more about what is included in Cyber Essentials, click here.

Ways to Pass Cyber Essentials First Time

Now that you have a good idea of what Cyber Essentials is and the associated requirements let’s talk about how you can get that seal of approval on your first attempt. Just like the 30,000 plus companies that are Cyber Essentials certified have already done, lots of planning and consideration needs to be included in your Cyber Essentials journey.

If you want to include Cyber Essentials in your cyber security toolkit immediately, follow the tips below.

Choose an IT Support Agency

Bringing in professional support in the form of an IT service agency is a great way to ensure that you pass Cyber Essentials on your first attempt.

By working with professionals that have already helped different companies achieve the certification, you will benefit from invaluable industry insights that give you the best chance of approval.

An agency will also be able to help you implement each of the core pillars in a way that will offer your company the best chance of long-term success. While the security measures will be the same in the operating style, how they are woven into IT networks will differ across sectors and industries. Professional IT teams will be able to recommend the best solutions for your business and fully configure them so that they meet the strict standards of Cyber Essentials.

You can find out about our Cyber Essentials service here.

Get Employees Involved

Another way to improve your chances of passing the first time is to get your entire company on board with the measures. It will take alignment from every department to create succinct security processes, so arming them with the knowledge is important.

To do this, you can ensure that team members are included in the planning and implementation stages and carry out internal training. As many as 95% of data breaches result from human error, so informing your teams on how to work safely is important.

As well as educating them on the Cyber Essentials process, you may also invest in user awareness training covering security and much more.

Understand the Requirements In-Depth

We have already covered the requirements but taking the time to understand them intrinsically also important.

Everyone in a company must know the reasons for the security measure to improve its effectiveness. Whether you are a small or large company, the risks will be the same which is why knowledge is important.

Update IT Infrastructures and Processes

Alongside implementing the security requirement of Cyber Essentials, it is also a good idea to update wider IT processes.

Security affects every inch of a business. Ensuring that the pillars are integrated into every aspect of a business, such as decision making and training, will give you more chances of passing the first time. You will then be able to successfully scale your existing network should you need to in the future.

Why is it Important to Pass Cyber Essentials First Time?

  • You will save money by not having to spend on the application process again.
  • There is less of a chance of spending more time and money on the security measures in place, which is also better for business continuity.
  • The award is important for improving brand image and the number of tenders a company can apply for. The quicker the certification is achieved, the sooner it will be behind, showing a return on investment.
  • Preparing for Cyber Essentials will require much team effort, even if you have a professional agency assisting you. Once you pass, these employees can focus on a wider security strategy, which makes for a more robust business.
  • Passing on your first attempt will also ensure staff morale is not negatively impacted.
  • Being Cyber Essentials certified means that your business is resilient against cybercrime. Once you pass, you will have peace of mind in knowing that your company is protected and able to operate confidently no matter the threats thrown its way.

How Do I Prepare for Cyber Essentials?

A big part of becoming Cyber Essentials certified is having the right attitude. If you are willing to invest the right time and energy into achieving the compliance standard, you are more likely to be successful.

Understanding why you want to become Essentials certified is vital as it helps you to consider the existing state of your company’s IT network. You should research topics such as “do I need Cyber Essentials if I have ISO-27001?” if you already have a security accreditation to ensure this is the right option.

Once you have done that and followed our top tips, you should be on track to passing Cyber Essentials on your first attempt! To find out more, contact us.

You may also be interested in:

What Is the Difference Between ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials?

Is Cyber Essentials Internationally Recognised

What is Outsourced IT Support?

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