Cyber Essentials is a UK-Government supported scheme which came into existence in 2014. In 2013, the UK government started to promote that companies should start to consider their risks to cyber stacks and start to manage it better. It was done by taking some initiatives which started to gain attention. However, problems were still being detected by the companies who were not applying security controls effectively. This is when the International standard for cyber security was announced by the government for effective implementation of cyber risks management and then Cyber Essentials was formalized in 2014. It is now possible to get a cyber essentials certification which demonstrates an organisation manage their cyber security risks.
The prime focus of the UK government’s cyber security scheme is to make UK a safer place for online businesses and it is essential for all the suppliers who bid for government contracts to have a cyber essentials certification. This is because most government contracts involve managing personal, technical and sensitive information, products and services. The government itself established Cyber Essentials in consultation with various industries.
Nearly all businesses rely on digital services in one way or the other, but technology always has risks associated with it. For smaller organisations to think that they cannot be attacked by Cyber-crimes is the biggest mistake ever. Modern cyber-crime does not see the size of an organisation. Criminal hackers do not look for high level targets and they do not have enough time to research about their target. Instead they have automated systems to attack poorly secured victims.
A cyber essentials certification does not only help a business to maximize cash flow, but it also improves its reputation. As the online selling is increasing in UK, the online fraudsters are also multiplying. Due to these increasing frauds the buyers prefer to shop from companies having significant security measures of their personal and financial data. A cyber essentials certification has a number of benefits with it. Some of them are listed below:
Cyber-Attacks cannot be stopped 100% with any security strategy, but the basic purpose is to eliminate the risk as much as possible. Cyber Essentials provide companies with a solid base to minimize the risk of these cyber-attacks. The cyber security scheme involves five controls which are boundary firewalls, control user access, phishing, secure-configuration and anti-malwares. If these five controls are implemented effectively, almost 80% of these common cyber-attacks can be avoided and it strengthens the organisations security.
As we have discussed before, a cyber essentials certification improves the reputation of your company amongst suppliers, customers and business partners. It demonstrates that your organisation takes cyber security very seriously. For government suppliers it is a mandatory requirement because it helps to protect commercially sensitive data. It also gives a competitive advantage against non-certified competitors.
The companies who trust their It security framework do not bother to regularly audit their IT security policy and procedures. As a result of which they are more prone to cyber-attacks. Ransom-ware attacks and data breaches are no less than a nightmare. It can affect the company’s financial status as well as reputation. In order to get a cyber essentials certification, it requires a company to audit their IT internal security by filling a questionnaire provided by an auditor, which is then signed by a senior representative after verification. This auditing process will help the organisation in identifying their weaknesses and helps them to strengthen their security.
Government or public sector contracts involve management of very sensitive data. The government has declared it mandatory for bidders to have a cyber essentials certification if they want to participate in government contracts bidding. It not only helps to protect the rectitude of Government’s information but also provides a competitive advantage when bidding for public sector contracts.
The government provides free cyber insurance cover to organisations certified to the Cyber Essentials scheme which can end up saving the businesses a substantial amount of money.
ISO 27001 which is an international standard for a Information Security Management System (ISMS), works conjointly with Cyber Essentials. ISO 27001 is a more universal standard because of its ability to cover a wide range of IT security elements whereas Cyber Essentials focus on the 5 cyber elements mentioned above.
If you are looking for support with obtaining a cyber essentials certification or interested in implementing an ISO 27001 ISMS, then please contact us for a free consultation.
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