Cyber attacks can happen at any time to any business. They come in many forms and no matter how big or small your business is, the likelihood of being impacted by a cyber-attack in some way is significant. 

Your organisation can fall victim to an attack directly or indirectly. We work in an interconnected world, and often organisations are part of a much wider network. Being connected to suppliers, third party vendors and other organisations opens you up to coming into contact with a cyber-attack.

At Arcus Technology, we’re here to support organisations and help them to protect their valuable data and businesses from cyber threats. In this article, we’re going to focus on Cyber Essentials and explain why it is something your business needs in the battle against cybercrime.

What is Cyber Essentials?

You may or may not have heard or know about Cyber Essentials. Either way, we thought it useful to begin with a quick overview of exactly what it is before we get into why you need it.

Cyber Essentials certification is a government backed scheme which is designed to provide confirmation of the basic controls your business has in place to protect against cyber threats. It helps you guard your organisation from the most common cyber threats and show your commitment to cyber security.

Types of accreditations

There are two types of accreditations for organisations to choose from, Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus.

Cyber Essentials protects you against the most common cyber-attacks. Achieving a certification will give you peace of mind and security in knowing you are protected against the majority of common cyber-attacks.

A self-assessment tool, Cyber Essentials provides you with the knowledge on how to address the basics and prevent common cyber attacks.

Cyber Essentials Plus comes with the same simple Cyber Essentials approach. Instead of self-assessing, you also have a hands-on technical verification carried out for you.

The benefits of Cyber Essentials Accreditation

Now, let’s take a look at why you need Cyber Essentials accreditation. The certification provides numerous benefits for your business. Possessing the Cyber Essential accreditation provides a clear picture of your business’s security level, it addresses security gaps, ensures you are GDPR compliant and protects your systems and data. These steps are reassuring for customers and clients you work with as it demonstrates your commitment in working towards secure IT and showcases you cyber security awareness.

Additionally, possessing a Cyber Essentials certificate increases your potential to attract new business and retain longstanding clients. It increases your credibility and reputation, which in turn means customers will feel comfortable sharing their information with you. Obtaining accreditation opens up the option of work with the MOD, NHS and central government work who require this certificate for certain contracts.

Along with increased credibility and customer trust, having accreditation will improve your businesses productivity by driving business efficiency throughout your organisation.

Cyber Essentials Certification Process

The certification process involves assessing the technical controls of your IT infrastructure. For the evaluation, you’ll be required to complete and submit a self-assessment questionnaire.

The main steps of the process are:

  • Identifying the requirements of your business by assessing the status quo using critical security controls.
  • Developing your cybersecurity policy by looking at weaknesses and gaps in your infrastructure. The policy will determine where you are now and where you need to be. From this, a set of initiatives are created to address the risks and control the gaps.
  • From the gap analysis, actions can be planned and created in order. These can then be implemented and administered to achieve security and reduce risk.
  • Self-assessment questionnaire will be submitted using evidence to support your cyber security policy is meeting the minimum-security goals.
  • An annual review is recommended to ensure that the Cyber Essentials certification is reviewed and renewed every year.

Next steps

Cybercrime isn’t going away. Organisations have an obligation to ensure they are keeping their data and systems as secure as possible. Like previously mentioned, in such an interconnected world you can’t just think about your own business data, clients and customers you work with need to trust that you’re keeping their sensitive information secure as well.

The benefits of Cyber Essentials, and its simple process of certification is why many businesses choose to use it. At Arcus technology, we keep IT simple and provide businesses in and around Yorkshire with exceptional IT services. We have a range of packages to suit any business in achieving Cyber Essential accreditation, from remote help to full consultation, we help businesses with the process every day.

 Contact us to find out more.