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

30/08/2018 in

Security, Cyber Essentials

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Last year, the number of cybercrimes targeting UK businesses grew by 63 percent. This increase is due to the 145 percent rise in computer malware, such as ransomware and Trojans.

Several high-profile instances of malware, like the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks, badly affected many of our national institutions. This included the NHS, which had to spend £180,000 in emergency measures.

Although the UK National Cyber Security Centre described these attacks as ‘their biggest challenge’ of 2017, most of the victims could have avoided their fate. Had they taken ‘basic security advice’ to heart, the malware would not have had the same impact.

This highlights the biggest problem UK businesses have with cyber security. Despite the risk of a cyberattack being at an all-time high, they seem unwilling to defend themselves. In fact, 77 percent of business leaders admit they don’t have a formal response plan to any cyberattack. This is understandable, until you suffer an attack it can be hard to see the ROI with cybersecurity. What's more, many businesses can't afford advanced cybersecurity, especially at the start.

Thankfully, there is a cost-effective way to protect your business from hackers: Cyber Essentials.

What is ‘Cyber Essentials’?

Cyber Essentials is a government-approved standard of cyber security. No matter the size of your business, it helps you protect against the most common cyber attacks. It also allows your business to demonstrate its commitment to cyber security.

There are two levels of Cyber Essentials accreditation:

  • Cyber Essentials – Level 1. Complete a self-assessment questionnaire that is reviewed by an external certification body. If your answers seem in order, you will achieve the first level of certification. This involves no external testing of your answers. The certification body will take you at your word.
  • Cyber Essentials Plus. Complete the same self-assessment questionnaire but then an external certification body not only reviews your answers but tests them as well. This extra level of scrutiny ensures that your cyber security meets minimum best practices.

cyber essentials questionnaire

How can Cyber Essentials help your business?

Now you know what Cyber Essentials is, the next logical question is to ask what it can it do for your business?

Time is money, and you don’t want to waste it on something that won’t provide business value. So, here are the advantages to achieving accreditation.

  • Your organisation has protection from cyber threats. Carrying out the recommendations of the questionnaire will help you to implement cyber security best practices. You’re not just passing a test, but actively building your business’s defence against hackers and potential threats.
  • It improves your business reputation. You prove your competence as a business owner to customers, insurers and investors. This means they trust you more and are more likely to talk about you favourably with their networks.
  • It attracts new business. Potential customers are more likely to buy if you show them you can keep their data safe. What’s more, accreditation is becoming an increasingly common requirement for working with government organisations. So, if you want to stand out, particularly in the public sector you must become certified.

Take the first step to accreditation with Evolve

If you want to ensure your cyber security is up to scratch, why not download your free Cyber Essentials Questionnaire and IT policies? It’s the first step to achieving Cyber Essentials accreditation, which proves you meet the minimum requirements for a secure business.

You can also purchase our companion guide to the questionnaire. Not only will it give you detailed answers to every question, but it includes two free half-hour sessions with our Cyber Essentials experts.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss cyber security further, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

Cyber Essentials questionnaire 3

 

About The Author

David Watson

David Watson

David is managing director at Evolve and a keen runner.