Why you should be using Cyber Essentials

Why you should be using Cyber Essentials

Published December 22, 2021

2020 was the busiest year on record for cyber-attacks with one initiated every 46 seconds. On average, that works out at almost 700,000 attacks per UK business per year.

Relatively unskilled people carry out the majority of these attacks. We can think of these attacks as equivalent to someone trying your front door to see if it’s unlocked.

In the same way that you should always keep your door locked to avoid potential thieves gaining access to your home, Cyber Essentials will help protect your company.

However, it’s not just about improving the security of your business, taking these kinds of precautions can also be crucial to improving your company’s reputation and trustworthiness.

After all, why would your customers and prospects ever trust you with their sensitive data if you can’t demonstrate that you’re taking the necessary steps in order to protect them and yourself?

What are Cyber Essentials?

This scheme is government-backed and is a simple, effective way to protect your organisation against the most common cyber-attacks.

The Cyber Essentials program allows companies to self-assess their systems and processes to certify that they are secure and can be trusted.

cyber essentials

Five essential technical controls make up the scheme:

  • Boundary firewalls and internet gateways
  • Secure configuration
  • Malware protection
  • Access control
  • Patch management

Why is it important?

You might think that these minor, less sophisticated attacks don’t matter and aren’t worth worrying about. You’d be wrong.

Many of these lower-level attacks are looking for businesses that don’t have Cyber Essentials controls in place. Once identified, these organisations can be marked as the targets of more serious cybercriminals who can carry out larger, more damaging attacks.

Security implications aside, having this certification is also a brilliant sales tool. It allows you to demonstrate to your clients and prospects that you take your IT security seriously and that their personal details are safe and not at risk with you.

It’s not optional

Since 2014, any business that handles certain types of sensitive and personal information and wants to supply it to the central UK government has required a Cyber Essentials certification.

On top of this, we’re also seeing several different insurance companies asking for proof of IT security in order to offer lower insurance premiums. Cyber Essentials ticks all the boxes required for this, and we recommend it as a baseline for Cyber Security.

It’s an ongoing task

Once you’ve achieved your Cyber Essentials certification, you might be tempted to just forget about it. The reality is that technology is always evolving and you need to show that you’re prepared to keep up.You need to review your cyber security guidelines, at minimum, every year. Not only will this ensure that you’re able to keep up with emerging trends and new attacks, but it also demonstrates a level of commitment to your customers and other businesses in your industry.

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Published December 22, 2021

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