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 IT Security. The Cyber Essentials scheme brings a number of benefits to companies looking to get certified, here is five of the 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 updating your firewall (if you even have one)? Is your antivirus up to date? Do you have an appropriate password policy?
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, a data breach could damage your reputation. The scheme requires an organisation to assess their security against a security 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 actively thinking about cyber security.
2. Protect Against Common Threats
No amount of effort is 100% certain to preventing attacks, the aim is to mitigate the risk as much as possible. The majority of attacks exploit basic weaknesses in IT systems and software, which are often fairly straightforward to defend against when you are prompted to think about it. The Cyber Essentials scheme aims to provide businesses with a strong base from which to reduce the risk from these cyber-attacks.
3. Show Your Customers You Take Cyber Security Seriously
By displaying the Cyber Essentials badge on your website or email footer, you show to your customers and potential customers that you take security seriously. This can be particularly beneficial if you are storing personal information or commercially sensitive information. The Cyber Essentials badge shows your customers you take the integrity of their data seriously.
The General Data Protection Regulations (or GDPR) make data protection 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. GDPR is not about simply encrypting data like many people think, in fact in many cases, it is not essential for data to be encrypted in order for it to be held securely. 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 complying with 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.
Integrity IT have helped many of our clients gain the accreditation. Contact Us to find out more.