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Cyber essentials and your business: Is it worth it?

The cybersecurity landscape is forever evolving and becoming more complex. As businesses embrace digital transformation to embrace innovation and growth, the risks of becoming a target of a cyber-attack also increase.

Ensuring your business has the right security in place has never been so important.

Businesses around the world and in the UK need to ensure their technology, policies, and procedures are current and that employees are on board with security measures, to avoid becoming a cybersecurity statistic.

To demonstrate that your business takes cybersecurity seriously, it could be time to consider a Cyber Essentials certificate.

What is Cyber Essentials Certification?

Cyber Essentials is an official UK government-backed certification that demonstrates your business’s attitude towards safeguarding information and digital security. It ensures companies are capable of guarding against common cyber threats and shows potential clients their commitment to cybersecurity.

There are two types of Cyber Essentials certification:

  • Cyber Essentials certification: you must complete a self-assessment questionnaire on behalf of your business which is then reviewed by any of the independent external certification bodies.
  • Cyber Essentials Plus certification: an independent external auditor will verify your organisation’s security controls meet the requirements for certification. There are five technical security controls required – firewalls, secure configurations, user access controls, malware protection, and patch management.

Why should my business get Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is an economical approach to guarantee that your company is safeguarding itself and its customers. The certification process verifies that you have taken steps to make sure your information is safe while showing to your customers that you take the safety of your data seriously.

Benefits of getting Cyber Essentials

There are several clear benefits that businesses gain when getting certified for Cyber Essentials. These include:

Protection against common cyber attacks

Going through the steps of being certified with Cyber Essentials can assist with setting up a cybersecurity framework that protects against everyday cyber-attacks. A bulk of cyber-attacks target fundamental flaws that organisations have, such as unpatched software applications or firewall configurations that are not properly set up. These types of attacks can generally be easily countered with basic tactics and Cyber Essentials offers companies those. Although there is no surefire way to stop all attacks, Cyber Essentials helps organisations to reduce the risks of the most probable ones by offering businesses a strong cybersecurity framework.

Preparation for being GDPR compliant

In 2019, the General Data Protection Regulation was implemented in the European Union. This legislation requires any company that collects personal data from EU citizens to take measures to secure the information against unauthorised access and theft. If a business is careless in complying with GDPR, it could be subject to a penalty equaling up to 4% of its total revenue.

Implementing the Cyber Essentials program can help companies avoid costly penalties and get ready for GDPR compliance. Even though GDPR necessitates a lot more than the five measures of the Cyber Essentials program, the latter enables you to assess your security systems and defend against everyday security risks. It is the initial step towards GDPR conformity.

Enables bids for government contracts

To be entitled to submit a bid for a government contract, the UK Government has mandated it as a requirement that suppliers must be compliant with the Cyber Essentials program. If the contract involves any technical work or the processing of confidential data, then satisfying the Cyber Essentials criteria is a must. Thus, for companies that want to pursue a government contract, Cyber Essentials is the only choice.

Shows commitment to cybersecurity

Customers and partners may be reluctant to do business with you if you don’t show that you take cybersecurity seriously. To gain their trust, you can become certified with the Cyber Essentials program. When you get certified, you can add the Cyber Essentials badge to your business website, which demonstrates your adherence to the security of data and systems, particularly if your business stores, processes, or transfers personal data or hosts sensitive information.

Eligibility for discounted cyber insurance

Many insurance companies offer cyber insurance to businesses that want to protect themselves from the cost of recovery in the event of a security incident. The Cyber Essentials certification offers specific insurance as part of it. If your business has less than £20m in revenue, you can get free cyber insurance if you obtain the Cyber Essentials certification.

Get Cyber Essentials ready with the security experts

In today’s constantly evolving threat landscape, the need for robust security is greater than ever before. To ensure your business secures a Cyber Essentials certification, you must first know the status of your cybersecurity defences. With the help of the security experts at INTELLIWORX, your business can understand your current security posture and help you to build a cybersecurity defence that will ensure your future success.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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