If you want to operate globally and have been considering how best to market yourself, have you considered the power Cyber Essentials could provide?

By 2025, cybercrime is predicted to cost the world $10.5 trillion. We can all agree that this is an astronomical figure, but sadly, we are sure that most people will not be shocked by that. If you have come across this article, chances are you are either an international business or one based in the UK looking to expand operations.

Whatever your situation, as Cyber Essentials experts, Creative Networks is here to clarify precisely how recognised this security accreditation is.

What is Cyber Essentials?

If this is the first time you have encountered this security accreditation, let’s start by explaining what the certification is.

Cyber Essentials was launched by the UK government in 2014 to regulate security processes for companies. Supported by the National Cyber Security Centre, the scheme promotes efficient safeguarding for organisations of all sizes against the genuine risk of cyber-attacks. To achieve this, the system covers five pillars of operations, all deemed critical to achieving safe operations.

These are the following:

Creation of firewalls Designed to protect against incoming and outgoing data, a firewall is essential for any company using digital programmes.

User control. Whether you have a global team, work with international suppliers, or need updated access occasionally, ensuring safe user control is essential. We offer safe user settings such as Microsoft 365 accounts and the implementation of cloud networks.

Secure software. Ensuring that software is safe to use is highly important. Whether you need to use general tools or industry specific programmes, cyber essentials ensures safety across the board.

Malware protection for all users. This is one of the most important elements if you bid for government contracts, as data safety is among the highest priorities. 

Patch management. This protects against any access that may be made via third party programmes, which we know are essential for all business forms.

Cyber essentials can be achieved by showing compliance with the above-listed factors. Most companies achieve this by working with a professionally managed service provider to implement the processes that will result in adherence to the five categories. The scheme was also updated in 2022 to include additional criteria which better represent modern security risks. This is just one of the many reasons we promote conformity with the outlined pillars to our clients.

If you want to find out more, check out our cyber security toolkit.

Is Cyber Essentials Only UK Relevant?

Is Cyber Essentials Only UK Relevant?

Cyber Essentials is recognised globally. The scheme was created in the UK, using local case studies as examples, but has been developed to be relevant to international markets.

The scheme promotes secure and safe operations that showcase operating intelligence. It also allows companies to instantly gain an image of another organisation’s IT security based on their adherence to the accreditation.

It is also worth noting that Cyber Essentials is a voluntary scheme. Due to its prominence, you may think cyber essentials are mandatory in the UK, but that is not true. While government and private sector contractors will require cyber essentials compliance, it is still an optional certification. However, it is rapidly increasing in popularity across global markets, so we expect it to become an essential accreditation for all industries in the coming years.

How Many Companies are Cyber Essentials Certified?

More than 30,000 companies are currently cyber essentials certified.

The fact remains that cyber security is a global issue, so tackling it with a unified approach is one of the best ways to manage it. For this reason, we expect the overall numbers to continue rising.

Cyber essentials also offer benefits to companies undergoing a digital transformation. This is because it provides the structures needed to transition safely to digital working methods. In the UK alone, 56% of companies are currently prioritising a digital transformation representing many businesses looking to be cyber essentials compliant as a security strategy.

For that reason, now is the time to get certified!

What are the Benefits of Cyber Essentials for Global Companies?

There is no denying that the pillars covered within the cyber essential’s parameters offer many advantages to companies. Below are a few additional benefits that we think the certification provides when considered globally.

Improved Competitiveness

By aligning with the cyber essential’s practices, companies can be more competitive within international markets. Some compliance will be country-specific, but this holds gravitas in many markets.

Adhering to cyber essentials proves that a company has the underlying performance indicators that make them a solid choice to work with. Companies can also bid for any form of contract, no matter how data-driven the work is deemed to be.

Global Recognition

The cyber essentials database holds a record of all the compliant companies.

If a business is looking to align with a fellow cyber essential’s holder, they can see who is accredited instantly. The pillars represent the key areas of security for companies worldwide, so it should also be considered that even if a company has not heard of the certificate, they will still be impressed by the level of compliance presented to them.

Enhanced Security

Cyber risks are globally relevant.

For a business wanting to operate globally, cyber essentials mean that even if a particular country has increased jeopardy, the overall security risks are not raised. This is because robust processes are in place which highlight any issues and resolve them promptly.

No stone is left unturned with every detail, from how cookies are connected to a network to the overall access routes, being considered within the pillars of compliance. The fact of the matter is that when cyber essentials are adopted, companies can operate more resiliently despite ongoing risks.

What Does Cyber Essentials Offer to My Business?

What Does Cyber Essentials Offer to My Business?

No matter what country you are operating from, the benefits remain across the board. Companies that comply with cyber essentials will experience the following:

  • Improved overall data security, compliance with other bodies, and reduced risk.
  • Easier tender processes with more opportunities available. This also saves time if achieving the compliance is essential but yet held by the company in question.
  • Improvements to the overall IT infrastructure that extend beyond just cyber security, having a positive influence on wider operations.
  • A healthier company culture as the employee experience will be positively impacted.
  • Overall brand reputation will also be improved as companies want to align with forward-thinking organisations actively working to reduce security risk.
  • Lower insurance premiums as the company are seen as less of a risk.
  • Increased levels of protection for data and IP information. This will appeal to competitors, suppliers, and customers who all hold this as being highly important.

You can find out more about what is included within the Creative Networks cyber essentials service here.

How Do I Achieve Cyber Essentials Status?

Companies across the UK and beyond and looking to the scheme for reassurance and achievable ways of operating safely. That is one of the reasons we have created our own cyber essentials service, which supports companies in becoming compliant over the long term.

The process involves a strategic assessment to ascertain the steps needed for a company to become compliant. We can fully manage this, providing a business with the tools they need to put the right procedures in place.

To learn more about how to get your company Cyber Essentials certified, click here.

Cyber essentials are one of the most widely recognised compliance accreditations that we believe elevates business performance. If you have further questions or want to know more about the areas we have covered with this blog, please get in touch with us today to find out more. Our team are fully behind the Cyber Essentials scheme and believes that any company can successfully achieve this status if they put the right procedures in place.

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