Cyber Essentials Guide
Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed cyber security certification scheme that provides organisations with a basic level of protection against cyber threats. If your business doesn't have Cyber Essentials certification, then you're leaving yourself vulnerable to attacks.
What is Cyber Essentials?
Cyber Essentials is a government-backed certification scheme designed to help you protect your organisation against common cyber threats as well as demonstrate your commitment to cyber security.
Most cyber-attacks are not targeted and are made possible by obvious vulnerabilities which can be trivial to exploit by inexperienced attackers yet equally trivial to prevent with the right controls and procedures. Cyber Essentials is designed to take away the hassle and help you focus on essential areas to bolster your security posture before it is too late.
What is the difference between Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus?
Cyber Essentials is the first level of online security, with the self-assessment certification providing peace of mind that you have the right defences in place. Cyber Essentials compliance protects against a wide variety of common attacks and ensures you're not an easy target. It provides simple measures of cyber protection, such as ensuring that software is regularly updated, that you have an effective anti-malware solution, and that you have essential policies and procedures in place to help protect your business.
Cyber Essentials Plus is an enhanced version with extra levels of safeguarding. It provides you with a hands-on technical verification that is carried out on your business. You will have additional peace of mind that your business will be better equipped for fighting off cyber threats and keeping your data in your hands.
Who is Cyber Essentials for and is it mandatory?
Whilst Cyber Essentials is not mandatory for all businesses, hackers don’t discriminate and therefore it’s imperative for businesses of all shapes and sizes to protect themselves.
There is a misconception that cyber-attacks only happen to large companies but in fact, hackers are often opportunistic in attacking smaller, more poorly protected targets.
Cyber Essentials is mandatory in some cases, such as businesses looking for specific government and MoD contracts or where clients in the private sector require certification to demonstrate you are taking your security responsibility seriously.
The benefits of Cyber Essentials Certification
Why your business needs to be Cyber Essentials certified.
The number of cyberattacks is on the rise and your business can’t afford to not be protected at this time. 46% of UK businesses reported a cyberattack in 2020.
There are many benefits to becoming Cyber Essentials certified, including peace of mind that you have the essential controls in place to protect your business and its employees as well as an increased resilience helping you to keep your business running come rain or shine.
How to get Cyber Essentials certification for your company
Getting certificated is easy and will benefit your business in the long term. All it takes is 3 easy steps.
- Choose your Cyber Essentials level of choice – either Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus.
- Complete your self-assessment and upload it to a certification body.
- Receive your certificate after it has been approved.
- After receiving Cyber Essentials certification then you can arrange a Cyber Essentials Plus certification with a certification body. This must be completed within 3 months of receiving Cyber Essentials certification.
Acquiring your Cyber Essentials Plus contains further steps, such as in-person audits in which we provide specialist advice and support to make sure your business is the safest it can be.
How can we help?
A&O IT Group are trained and authorised by IASME to consult on and deliver both Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus.
We can help guide you painlessly through the process and provide all the help and advice you need to prepare your business for certification. If you don’t know where to begin then we are happy to provide a free consultation to help you get started.
Find out more about our offering and prices here.