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 Run by the National Cyber Security Centre, this scheme helps businesses put basic security controls in place to protect themselves from cyber attacks. It’s a requirement for many central government frameworks and tenders.

It’s an effective, Government backed certification that guards against a wide variety of the most common cyber attacks. Its certification process is also lightweight and easy to follow.

What Is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a UK Government-backed scheme that provides protection against the most common cyber attacks. It is aimed at businesses and organisations of any size, in any sector.

Designed to be simple to implement, Cyber Essentials certification requires no complex IT systems and focuses on the five most basic technical controls that are proven to protect against most cyber threats. It also helps organisations build a culture of cybersecurity – and it’s a requirement for businesses bidding for some Government contracts.

Statistically, suppliers end their relationships with customers when they suffer a data breach and Cyber Essentials demonstrates that your business is taking its security seriously.

Why Is It Important?

Cyber Essentials is a great first step towards improving your business’ cybersecurity. Although it will not stop a %100 of attacks, it is an effective defence against the most common threats.

Many public sector organisations require their suppliers to be Cyber Essentials certified. Being able to bid for these contracts is a massive opportunity and helps to build long-lasting relationships.

In the event of a data breach, being Cyber Essentials certified will reduce your liability. This is because you are demonstrating that you have taken basic steps to protect the information of your clients and customers.

How Do You Get Certified?

The first level of certification is self-assessment, which gives your organisation protections against the majority of cyber attacks. The process is straightforward and accessible to all organisations, even those with limited technical expertise.

Once you’ve passed the self-assessment, your IT systems will be verified by an external assessment body – Tripwire, for example – to make sure your protections meet the requirements of the scheme. This ensures that the security controls are working effectively.

What Are The Benefits Of The Certification?

Having the Cyber Essentials certification will help you demonstrate to your customers and suppliers that you take cybersecurity seriously. As a result, they will be more confident in doing business with you.

It can also help you secure new contracts. Many government departments now require suppliers bidding for contracts involving the handling of sensitive and personal information to hold Cyber Essentials certification. The certification also helps protect your business against insurance premiums.

Achieving the certification is simple and straightforward. You simply complete the questionnaire (Cyber Essentials) or have a vulnerability scan (Cyber Essentials Plus). A certified assessment body will then perform your evaluation and award you your certificate. The certification is valid for a year. After that, you will need to re-assess to continue to be Cyber Essentials compliant.