5 Reasons Why Cyber Essentials is Great for Business
Cybersecurity is a responsibility that lies with individual businesses. The UK Government is leading the cyber security agenda for businesses with a range of schemes and initiatives. Perhaps the most useful for SMEs is Cyber Essentials.
Cyber Essentials is a government backed scheme which was launched in 2014 by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. The primary aim of the scheme is to encourage organisations to adopt best practices in their information security strategy, in turn making the UK a safer place to do business. The Cyber Essentials scheme brings a number of benefits to companies looking to get certified, here’s the five most important reasons:
1. It’s a Great Opportunity to Audit Your Internal Security
When was the last time your business audited its internal IT security policies? Who is managing and updating that dusty old firewall in the network rack (if one even exists)? Is your endpoint security up to date? Do you have strong passwords and change them regularly?
These are just some of the questions every company who relies on their IT infrastructure should be asking themselves. The effects of a ransomware attack or serious data breach on a company could be devastating. Not only financially, but also in reputational terms. The scheme requires an organisation to self-assess their security against an assessor company’s questionnaire, which is then verified and must then be signed by a senior executive. This level of scrutiny on your security policies will uncover weaknesses and get your staff and management thinking about cyber security.
2. Protect Against Common Threats
Whilst no security strategy can stop 100% of attacks, the aim is to mitigate the risk as much as possible. The majority of attacks exploit basic weaknesses in IT systems and software, and these can be quite straightforward to defend against. The Cyber Essentials scheme aims to provide businesses with a strong base from which to reduce the risk from these prevalent, but unskilled, cyber-attacks.
3. Show Your Customers You Take Cyber Security Seriously
By displaying the Cyber Essentials badge on your website, you show to your customers, partners and investors that you take the security of your systems seriously. This can be particularly beneficial if you are storing personal information (such as medical records or financial information), or hosting other commercially sensitive data. This shows your customers you take the integrity of their data seriously and builds trust.
4. A Great Step in Preparation for GDPR 2018
In May 2018, GDPR 2018 – or, more formally, the General Data Protection Regulations – come into force across the EU. These regulations will make existing rules much stronger and if a business is found to be negligent in the event of a data breach, they could face fines of up to 4% of global turnover.
Every organisation processing the personal data of EU citizens must carry out safeguards against data theft, loss and unauthorised access. Cyber Essentials is a great first step in preparation for GDPR, and whilst GDPR will require much more preparation than Cyber Essentials, in the event of a breach, your business can potentially fend off large fines by proving to the Information Commissioner’s Office that your business put the right controls in place.
5. Cyber Essentials Enables You to Bid for Government Contracts
In an attempt to improve cyber security in its supply chain, the government has decreed suppliers must be compliant with the Cyber Essentials scheme in order to bid for contracts which involve the handling of sensitive information and the provision of certain technical services. Not only does this defend the integrity of government information, it could even give your company a competitive advantage when bidding for public sector tenders.
Cyber Essentials comes in two forms, Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. Protos Networks is an IASME Cyber Essentials Certification Body, meaning we can provide advice and services to your business in order to help you pass the Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus assessment.
Find out more about Cyber Essentials at cyberaware.gov.uk/cyberessentials.
For support with your accreditation, call Protos Networks on 0333 370 1353.
If you need any advice on this issue or any other cyber security subjects, please contact Protos Networks.
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 0333 370 1353