Cyber Essentials: What is it and how can it help your business?

Written by Tim Mears on January 29 2019

cyber essentials what is it and how can it help your business

In 2018, 31 percent of organisations experienced cyberattacks on operational technology infrastructure. In the United States alone, there are more than 130 large-scale, targeted breaches per year, and that number grows at a rate of 27 percent year-on-year.

Protecting your business against cyber threats, then, is a no brainer. Yet, for some reason, companies are still operating without the right protection in place.

To keep their business safe, they need Cyber Essentials.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what Cyber Essentials is and how it can keep your business safe in an ever-growing digital age.

New call-to-action

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats.

Launched on 5th June 2014, the program enables organisations of any size and industry to gain one of two Cyber Essentials badges. It’s a scheme backed by the Federation of Small Businesses, the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and a collection of insurance agencies.

How does Cyber Essentials work?

There are three steps to getting a Cyber Essentials certificate.

1. Selecting a Certification Body

The first step is to find an Accreditation Body who can help you get certified. Make sure you find an Accreditation Body suitable for your business.

From here, you can find a suitable Certification Body to conduct your assessment and help you gain a Cyber Essentials certificate.

2. Verify your IT is suitably secure

Cyber Essentials has an in-depth set of requirements that your IT infrastructure must meet. You need to ensure your hardware and software meets these standards before your Certification Body can conduct an assessment.

To find out about the requirements, read here

3. Complete the self-assessment questionnaire

Once you have partnered with a Certification Body and understood what you need to do to get your technology in-line with Cyber Essentials, it’s time to complete your certification questionnaire and submit it.

This questionnaire is supplied by your Certification Body.

The difference between an Accredited Body and a Certification Body

The Cyber Essentials scheme has five Accreditation Bodies that have been specifically selected by the NCSC. It is these organisations that oversee the Cyber Essentials certification.

They recruit and manage a variety of Certification Bodies, and ensure that each organisation meets the standards required to conduct an assessment.

The Benefits of getting certified

A Cyber Essentials certificate offers many benefits to a business, including:

  • Building consumer trust by showing that you take cyber security seriously.
  • A listing on Cyber Essential’s directory of organisations awarded a Cyber Essentials certificate.
  • Prioritisation over contract bidding. For example, the Government requires all potential suppliers to have their Cyber Essentials certification.

In short, a Cyber Essentials certificate could mean increased consumer trust, greater publicity for your firm and, subsequently, more sales for your business. And at approximately £300 (including VAT), it’s an investment you can’t afford to miss out on.

To find out more about how to become Cyber Essentials certified with Axon IT, get in touch today.

New call-to-action