WestSpring have detailed everything you need to know about the government backed Cyber Essentials Certification and how it can help you not only secure your business but win deals!

For those of you who don’t know the Cyber Essentials is a certification scheme backed by the Government in an attempt to reduce cyber vulnerability throughout the supply chain. When these processes are implemented correctly, the security controls outlined should prevent 80% of cyber-attacks!

With the recent cyber-attack hitting the NHS, Sony and major financial companies like Capital One, organisations large and small are taking serious steps to protect their business and customer data.

How is Cyber Essentials implemented?

There are two different levels of badge that your company can apply for:

Cyber Essentials: the standard Cyber Essentials certification is a self-assessment questionnaire and is reviewed externally

Cyber Essentials Plus: This certification includes a yearly external “penetration test” undertaken by a third party to highlight your systems vulnerabilities or lack of. As this is not completed by your consulting IT firm you can be certain it is impartial and fair. A report is then generated and will be sent to you directly.

Bear in mind 80% of business fail their first application! Now these steps may seem simple at a glance but if not implemented universally, they are virtually worthless – Remember you are only as strong as your weakest link!

Any organisation, no matter the size, can download the Cyber Essentials documents and use them to put essential security controls in place via the self-assessment, however,  getting experts in to oversee this process will save you time and guarantee you don’t fail at the first hurdle.

What’s included?

The Cyber Essential this certification will include a yearly external “penetration test” undertaken by a third party to highlight your systems vulnerabilities or lack of. As this is not completed by your consulting IT firm you can be certain it is impartial and fair. A report is then generated and will be sent to you directly.

Why do you need it?

Having the Cyber Essentials badge not only protects your organisation against 80% of cyber-attacks, it demonstrates to your customers and supply chain that you have considered security controls and are working in a safe and secure environment. It also means that you can bid for important government contracts, as the Cyber Essentials certification is likely to become mandatory.

Cyber-attacks come in many shapes and sizes, but the vast majority are very basic in nature, carried out by relatively unskilled individuals. It’s the digital equivalent of a thief trying everyone’s front door to see if it’s unlocked, is yours? This advice is designed to prevent these attacks.

Get ahead of the competition!

It is important to remember that bidding for a contract is a competition —Why put one more hurdle in your way? If your main competitor has Cyber Essentials and you don’t, unfortunately it will count against you and give your competitor a huge advantage with the contracting authority.

60% of small businesses suffered a malicious breach in the past year but only 1 in 4 felt ‘well prepared’ in the event of an attack; which on average costs a UK small business £16,264! You’re now 35 times more like to be a victim of cyber-crime, than a robbery!

By being fully Cyber Essentials compliant mitigates 80% of the risks faced to your business such as malware infections, social engineering attacks and hacking.

Here are some further advantages from gaining your certification;

Demonstrates Security
This certification will give you a competitive advantage over others within your industry, since you can offer unparalleled security and lower risk solutions to your stakeholders and customers.

Relieve Stress
Knowing these steps are in place will take away the fear of cyber-attack, knowing you have implemented best practices to prevent 80% of attacks (no business can ever be 100% secure)

Benefits to your staff

Be confident your organisation is resilient and provides confidence to prepare for bigger more ambitious projects.

Reduces employee chances of falling victim to targeted or opportunity on-line threats

Increase Opportunities
Be able to bid for UK Government contracts that involve the handling of personal and sensitive information and increase your chances of securing business within the private sector.

Save Money
Insurance agencies look favourably on SME’s with Cyber Essentials. As you can prove that measures are in place to optimise security and reduce the chance of a cyber-attack. Let alone the cost of replacing hardware or loss of business due to a cyber-attack.

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about how to protect your business or would like to arrange a free consultation and  IT Review on the health of your systems, please get in touch.