Certainly, for IT professionals it holds paramount value to stay ahead of the unique technological transformations and IT security challenges that they bring about. Usually they endeavor to make things easier regarding IT security as much as they can, particularly when the critical data of the organisation is on the line. It is a well-known fact that cyber-attacks can cost huge amounts for a company in the form of work days being compromised, lost in revenue and data, along with the substantial fines related with General Data Protection Regulation compliance (GDPR).
The official report of UK government stated the fact that almost half of business entities stated a cyber-breach in the year 2016 only. Basically, Cyber Essentials is a government and industry supported system in order to facilitate organisations for looking after themselves against commonly known online threats. Cyber Essentials is a standard recommended by UK government. It requires compliance with a variety of security methods that protects against known threats. A Cyber Essentials Certification makes it evident to the broad range of sectors working globally that information security is significant to you and their data is being managed professionally.
For getting a Cyber Essentials certification it is useful to have a cyber essentials checklist so we can prepare for certification.
The first step in our checklist is to have proper research regarding the certification process so that its main and essential elements are understood. The external auditing bodies have a clear understanding regarding its steps, but in case an organisation decides to do it at its own, then it will become necessary to know the particular steps to be taken and the answers for important questions. It will be mandatory to show that you have proper arrangements in place for this purpose such as Firewalls for the prevention of unauthorized access and secure configuration by means of setting up systems in a secure approach.
The second step is to assess the benefits that can be achieved by getting Cyber Essentials Certification. If your organisation already possesses a dynamic strategy for cyber security, with adequate resources dedicated on security maintenance, you will benefit from the certification unquestionably. Your organisation can be exposed to vital threats due to an unpatched security update on a single laptop, such as the WannaCry ransomware attack. In the same way, making sure your antivirus and additional security technologies are completely positioned and up to date within the entire organisation will be quite handy to identify and classify common threats.
The third step of cyber essentials checklist is to have a vulnerability scan or a security assessment. If any decision has not been made to appoint an external body for conducting the Cyber Essentials certification and the organisation is doing it by themselves, it will be necessary to carry out a vulnerability scan to evaluate and include the condition of our network safety as a component of the certification process. Vulnerability scans utilizes a set of tools to evaluate your IT systems by scanning the organisational network structure, classifying any sort of unpatched software updates, inadequate arrangement of security software, or open ports.
The vulnerability scans must be carried out both from within our system, internally and externally when it is beyond our network. It is known as vulnerability scan for the reason that the open doors are classified by means of scanning tools which identifies vulnerabilities most frequently misused by hackers. Better security assessments can be achieved by means of security audits and evaluations, which offers a clear outline and roadmap to form a dynamic strategy for cyber security. It is a important step in the preparation for GDPR as well.
The fourth step is to have a Cyber Essentials Questionnaire. It must be kept in mind that the questionnaire is similar whether an organisation is making effort for Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus. Once all of the organisational processes are arranged and authorized to make sure regarding the assurance of data security, the Cyber Essentials questionnaire can be completed and sent to a licensed entity for certification; otherwise, the services of an external auditor can be availed for conducting Cyber Essentials PLUS certification for the organisation.
The last step of the cyber essentials checklist is to show the certification badge. There is no doubt that compliance with Cyber Essentials and especially Cyber Essentials PLUS has turned into a standardized symbol of confidence and self-assurance. Once an organisation has covered all of the above checklist steps in order to certify your keenness and you have obtained the certification, then it the certification badge/logo can be displayed confidently. The Cyber Essentials certification becomes a assuring sign for your customers that their data protection is taken seriously by following proper parameters.
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