As the world becomes more digitised, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses of all sizes. Cybercriminals are continually inventing new ways to attack and steal sensitive information, which can result in significant damage and even financial ruin for businesses. Protecting the future and reputation of your company has never mattered more, and this is why it’s so important to take steps to improve your cybersecurity measures.

Companies are vulnerable to attacks, and have to do all they can to be able to protect themselves effectively. This means paying attention to all of the key cybersecurity processes they should be taking, and one of the most effective ways of doing this is by obtaining Cyber Essentials certification.

In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into what Cyber Essentials accreditation is, what it involves, and how it can help your business.

What are Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed scheme that aims to help businesses improve their cybersecurity by identifying and mitigating common cyber threats. It provides a set of security standards and maps out a cyber security toolkit companies can utilise in order to minimise the risk of a cyber attack.

This is basically the process your company uses to show that you are able to handle the threat of cyber attacks, and ensure this is not going to adversely impact your company too much. You need to show that you are capable of protecting sensitive and important data and information as much as possible, and remain as professional as possible, and this is where Cyber Essentials come into play.

There are two types of Cyber Essentials certification:

–      Cyber Essentials

This is the basic level certification, and is well-suited to startups and SMEs, or those who have limited resources. It requires the company to meet five basic cybersecurity measures; firewalls, secure configuration, access control, malware protection, and patch management.

–      Cyber Essentials Plus

This is the advanced certification and is suitable for larger businesses with a more complex IT infrastructure. It involves a more rigorous testing process, including an in-depth on-site audit to verify that the organisation meets the five basic security controls.

What is the purpose of Cyber Essentials?

The primary purpose of Cyber Essentials is to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber threats. Understanding what Cyber Essentials involves is key to mastering it, and the main focus of the process is providing a framework for businesses to identify vulnerabilities in their IT systems and put into practice measures to mitigate those risks.

Protecting your company as much as possible is super important, and you need to be able to show clients that you are dedicated to battling the threat of cybercrime as much as you can. This is something that you need to try to focus on as much as possible, and there are so many different elements that can help you to achieve this, making the Cyber Essentials accreditation more important than ever.

Why Does My Business Need Cyber Essentials Certification?

In today’s digital world, every business is vulnerable to cyber attacks, and though Cyber Essentials isn’t mandatory in the UK, it is highly recommended for businesses. According to a report by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, cyber attacks involving the loss of money or sensitive data cost UK businesses £19,400 on average from 2021-22.

Protecting yourself from harm and making sure your company and its sensitive data is looked after is really important. Obtaining Cyber Essentials certification can help your business in several ways, including:

  • Protecting your business – Cyber Essentials helps to protect your business from common cyber threats, such as phishing attacks and malware. By implementing the five basic security controls, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.
  • Winning new business – Many organisations require their suppliers to have Cyber Essentials certification to demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity. Having Cyber Essentials can, therefore, help your business win new contracts and clients.
  • Enhancing your reputation – Cyber Essentials is a recognized and respected accreditation. By obtaining it, you demonstrate to your customers, suppliers, and stakeholders that you take cybersecurity seriously.

What is Cyber Essentials Accreditation?

Cyber Essentials accreditation is the process of obtaining certification that you meet the Cyber Essentials standards as a business. To achieve this certification you will need to complete a self-assessment questionnaire and have your security processes verified by the relevant body. It is also important to be able to demonstrate that your company is able to ace the five basic functions of cybersecurity as mentioned earlier.

Now, a lot of businesses wonder whether they need Cyber Essentials if they have ISO 27001, and the answer is… it depends! You are not required to have either, but it is certainly tasking due diligence to ensure you have at least one. The fact is that Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 share a lot of similarities, but the former is more suitable for small businesses, whilst the latter is more aimed at larger organisations, and takes more time and money to acquire.

What Is Cyber Essentials Accreditation?

Passing Cyber Essentials

Being able to pass the Cyber Essentials accreditation as a business is really important and this is something that you need to try to get right as much as possible. There is a two-step process involved in achieving this, and the first is assessing your cybersecurity readiness by answering a self-assessment questionnaire. This questionnaire covers the five key areas:

  • Secure Configuration
  • Boundary Firewalls and Internet Gateways
  • Access Control and Administrative Privileges
  • Patch Management
  • Malware Protection

Once you have completed this, your answers will be reviewed by a certification body. If your answers are satisfactory, you will receive the Cyber Essentials accreditation. If not, you will be given a list of areas to improve.

Benefits of Cyber Essentials

There are plenty of benefits as a business to achieving Cyber Essentials accreditation, and these include:

1.   Improved cybersecurity

By implementing the Cyber Essentials controls, you can reduce the risk of cyber attacks and protect your business from damage.

2.   Business growth

Gaining this certification is a requirement for many government contracts, and this can open up new business opportunities.

3.   Cost-effective

Cyber Essentials is a cost-effective way to improve your cybersecurity, as the fee is affordable, and the process is easy to implement.

4.   Customer confidence

Customers are increasingly aware of cybersecurity threats and want to work with businesses that take cybersecurity seriously; something Cyber Essentials certification can really help with.

5.   Compliance

Cyber Essentials certification can help you comply with data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Closing Thoughts

These days, the digital world is more prominent than ever, and this is something you need to try to master as much as you can. There are so many elements that you can improve upon as a modern brand seeking better protection and security, and Cyber Essentials accreditation is one of the best ways of being able to achieve this. This is a cost-effective way of being able to improve your cybersecurity processes, and enhance your company reputation and

Protecting your company from attacks, as well as providing your customers with peace of mind is hugely important for helping you to make the right choices as a modern business. There are so many factors that can contribute to this, and one of the key ones is making sure you gain the right Cyber Essentials accreditation.


What is ‘Cyber Essentials’?

Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed cybersecurity certification scheme designed to help organisations protect themselves against cyber-attacks.

Why should you get Cyber Essentials?

Getting Cyber Essentials is crucial for protecting your organisation against cyber-attacks and showing your customers that you take cybersecurity seriously.

What is the difference between Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus?

Cyber Essentials certification involves a self-assessment questionnaire and an external vulnerability scan. Cyber Essentials Plus involves a more rigorous assessment that includes a simulated cyber-attack to test the effectiveness of your cybersecurity.

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