Cyber Essentials Plus

Get the right cyber security for your business.

Cyber Essentials Plus can help protect business from as many as 80% of cyber-attacks. With almost 40% of UK companies having reported a cyber-attack in 2022, this is a very real issue that businesses in all sector are having to deal with.

At Creative Networks, we can help your business achieve the much-acclaimed Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation which keeps companies safe and teams feeling empowered.

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What is Cyber Essentials Plus?

Cyber Essentials Plus is the follow-on system from the popular Cyber Essentials programme, which promotes safe online business operations. The trademarked certificate helps to ensure that the control markers set out on the Cyber Essentials audit are fully operational.

The UK government has created both schemes, with both the traditional cyber essentials and advanced plus version being an accreditation awarded to businesses that are fully proficient in cyber security. Supported by the National Cyber Security Centre, the scheme promotes efficient safeguarding for organisations of all sizes against the genuine risk of cyber-attacks. This is achieved by adhering to the scheme’s five basic security controls, which improve business security immensely once implemented.

Cyber Essentials Plus is seen as a more hands-on approach to managing your status. This is because it follows up on the controls put in place to ensure they are working correctly. Simply having the controls is enough to be Essentials certified, but a deeper alignment to the procedures is required for the Cyber Essentials Plus award.

The Cyber Essentials Plus certification requires an external security scan to be carried out, proving that it also covers all forms of incoming threats as well as operating safety. Both certifications allow the core elements of security to be defined. We also recommend our ISO-27001 support, which further focuses on data safety.

As the expansion of the Cyber Essentials certification, only organisations that have already achieve the initial status can apply for this status. You will also need to have a valid Cyber Essentials certificate, dated within three months of the application date, to successfully apply.

Any business can achieve both forms of certificate as the scheme is designed to make safer operating spaces for companies of all sizes and sectors. The Plus certificate is a brilliant option as it shows that your business is at the top of the game when it comes to safe online operations.

At Creative Networks, we are firmly behind this scheme, and our team of experts are on hand to help all companies achieve this level of operating excellence. As you can see from our case studies, we work with a range of different clients and are confident that we can help all businesses achieve this accreditation.

By going one step further in your mission to operate safely online, there are multiple benefits to your business. These include the following:

Improved competitiveness and company image as all businesses that achieve this accreditation are seen to take their cyber security seriously. By seeing that a business has not just received the Essential certificate but proceed to achieve the Plus status, customers are able to see how serious a company is about operating safely. People are also more likely to feel comfortable sharing their data with a business that aligns with official government guidance, so the benefits are plentiful.

The IT infrastructure and procedures required by the scheme ensure that the company can implement the controls needing in a viable way that can be used daily. The Cyber Essentials Plus also adds more legitimacy to operations as it involves making sure that the structures put in place are being used. This also means that if any issues due arise that they can be resolved quickly via the contingencies and back ups that are in place.

By achieving the Cyber Essentials Plus certificate, companies can also be eligible to bid for government and public centre contracts. Being one of the highest levels of security certification, any companies that adhere to these rules will be easier to bring on board and work with as various levels of protection have already been cleared.

Preventing cyber-attacks is much easier than resolving successful one. By having the structures in place to highlight any issues, cybercriminals cannot access your sensitive data. Essentials plus is about ensuring the structures work, meaning that the award puts the processes in place that are more likely to be effective in preventing attacks.

Cyber Essentials Plus works on five control elements that keep companies safe. The difference between this and the Cyber Essentials award is that with the Plus certificate, you are required to show that they are being actively used.

We can help you achieve these five controls at Creative Networks with the following services.

Effective firewalls are required to be in place. As part of our cyber security services, we can create bespoke and robust firewalls which align with your wider IT networks. The Cyber Essentials Plus certificate is based on ensuring businesses are not vulnerable to attacks. Firewalls are one of the main ways this can be achieved as a firm protective layer is put in place. Alongside this is the need for Malware protection for all users. Our cyber security services ensure that all operating systems are secure so that no viruses or online threats can penetrate.

User control is also considered within this certification as one of the main ways cyber-attacks can make their way into a company via employees and online operations. The Plus award ensures that a company is protected against hacking which is why secure user systems must be in place. To tackle this, we offer safe user settings such as Microsoft 365 accounts and the implementation of cloud networks.

Secure software should also be adapted to be fully compliant. We also provide services not just to define your IT infrastructures but also to ensure that they are configured for secure ongoing use. The software also goes together with patch management, which ensures that the risk doesn’t increase when third-party programmes are used. 

The services that we offer also cover other elements of cyber security. Find out more here.

With more than 15 years of experience, we genuinely bring knowledge and resource that helps companies achieve operating greatness. When it comes to cyber security, we take things very seriously, as that is the element that can truly make or break a business. Our services have been finessed to ensure we can help companies achieve Cyber Essentials and ISO accreditations and generally operate much safer.

Our services make sure your teams are put at the heart of everything, resulting in happier and much more efficient teams. From cloud-based technologies that facilitate collaborative working to glitch-free systems, we make it possible for you to create a strong company culture. Not only do we offer a succinct service, but we also make it fully bespoke for each client. Our Essentials Plus services are based on educating your teams to be more in control and confident online.

Our outsourced services also allow you to reduce overall spending on IT infrastructures and combine services under just one fee. The simplified way of working is ideal for companies that want to operate more efficiently and without expensive contractual constraints. Paying to be Cyber Essentials Plus approved also offers you a structure by which internal teams can work more seamlessly with our own experts, offering you a more cost-effective way to work safely.

When you choose to work with us, you will also gain access to not expertise in all areas of IT, as our team has varied skill sets. Bringing that talent in-house would cost you greatly and be different, given how hard IT recruitment can be. The requirements for achieving Cyber Essentials Plus status can sometimes change but out team are always educated on the latest updates to ensure your practices are never outdated.

If you want to find out more about the areas that we specialise in, you can also check out our blog.

Last but not least, you will also benefit from best-in-class service as providing excellent results is highly important, which can be seen in our 5-star Google rating! Not convinced? You can find out more benefits of working with Creative Networks by clicking here.

Contact us today to start your journey to achieving this internally recognised certificate.

By keeping your business safe and being compliant which a government-backed scheme, you will be able to operate more confidently and successfully, no matter your industry.

If you have already got the Cyber Essentials foundations in place, elevated your security and market authority with the Plus certificate is a brilliant choice to make. Our aim is to give companies the tools they need to thrive which the Plus award does perfectly.

From putting the controls in place that facilitate safe working to helping your teams operate daily, our vast array of services can elevate your IT networks.

Features and benefits of Cyber Essentials scheme

Reduced risk of cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

Improved compliance with data protection legislation and regulations.

Increased security awareness among employees.

Reduced insurance premiums for cyber liability coverage.

Peace of mind knowing that your organization is secure from cyber threats.

Enhanced reputation and credibility with customers, partners, suppliers, etc.

What are the Benefits of Cyber Essentials & Cyber Essentials Plus?​

Although cyber essentials and cyber essentials plus are not mandatory in the UK, we recommend that companies adopt them as the benefits are plentiful.

By showcasing an adherence to the essentials and the plus certificate, competitors, employees, suppliers, and customers can see just how seriously the company takes its cyber security.

Some of these benefits include the following:

  • Demonstrating compliance with these standards makes the contract and procurement process much simpler when tendering for new business. For some public sector contracts, this award will be essential. For others, when this certification is not specially asked for, it offers a way to show the robustness of a security plan efficiently.
  • Being compliant also supports IT teams with their ongoing tasks associated with company safety. The compliance encourages the right processes to be implemented, which maintain long-standing adherence and safety.
  • Improvements to internal processes can also be a witness. By having a clear process to follow, teams ensure that aspects such as decision making can take place much more easily.

What Are the Differences Between Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus?

Whilst the premise of both the cyber essentials and cyber essentials plus certifications are the same, a few distinct differences set them apart.

Both offer a way for a company to adopt a cyber security toolkit encompassing all the support needed to mitigate risk significantly.

The differences between the two certifications are as follows:

  • The Awarding Process
  • External Vulnerability Testing

The Awarding Process

To achieve the cyber essentials certificate, a self-assessment is required.

The applying company must provide evidence of each of the markers having been met, and the submission document needs to be signed by a board member. By doing this, they declare that all the information is accurate and assign themselves responsible should any issues arise.

If successful, the certificate will be emailed based on this and will be valid for 12 months. This is the same process that should be followed with each application.

As the essentials plus certificate requires a deeper level of compliance alongside an external scan, an auditor will be responsible for managing the awarding process. They will also need confirmation of the approved cyber essentials certificate, which must have at least three months remaining at the time of application.

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External Vulnerability Testing

Another difference is that an external vulnerability scan is completed for the cyber essentials plus certification. This is important as its tests the strength of the existing security measures that make up the compliance for the essentials certificate.

This involves trying to access a company in the same way that hackers would do so.

As this is carried out before the auditor visits, it comprises the first of two application phases associated with this award. The company will receive a full audit result whether they pass or not. If this phase is not passed, it could also affect the current essentials certificate as it represents that the compliance is not robust enough for modern security threats.

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Why not see what we can do for your business?

Our friendly team is ready to answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in any of our products or services, then have a discussion with us!