The ‘Cyber Essentials’ accreditation is imperative for businesses today looking to protect themselves from all forms of cyber threats. Over the past year, nearly half of UK companies have reported cyber breaches. As a result, the government designed the accreditation to provide businesses with an insight on how to improve their cyber-infrastructure.
What are Cyber Essentials?
The accreditation was created by the government in 2014 and launched by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It is aimed at helping businesses guard against the most common cyber security threats; including hacking, phishing and manual or automated attempts at password guessing. Cyber Essentials functions as a form of ‘checklist’ which organisations can analyse the current state of their cyber security infrastructure. Certification is an annual process, ensuring that businesses are always up to date with the latest developments in cyber security.
The self-assessment questionnaire
The Cyber Essentials questionnaire tests key areas of procedural and technical controls that every organisation should have in place. This questionnaire looks at five specific areas of organisational infrastructure:
Firewalls: This element is vital for ensuring that external threats are unable to gain access to systems in the first place.
Web server & application server configuration: A key part of minimizing vulnerabilities, stopping unauthorised actions and ensuring devices don’t reveal too much information.
Limiting access to data: By limiting who has access to sensitive business data, you’ll protect your business from unwarranted data breaches.
Malware protection: To help guard against malicious software and ransomware.
Patch management: This is utilised to identify and manage potential cyber risks, ensuring that your organisation is not left vulnerable.
The benefits of Cyber Essentials certification
● Essential protection for any organisation: The accreditation protects against 80% of the most common types of cyber security attacks.
● Minimising downtime and disruption: If you have protection in place, then the easier it will be to ensure business continuity; including if your organisation falls victim to cyber attack.
● Customer reassurance and business reputation: By having the certification, it is a clear sign to your clients and customers that your business takes cyber security seriously. This will reassure existing customers and could be beneficial when it comes to attracting new customers. In addition, it helps to establish business reputation and credibility.
● Eligibility for discounts on insurance cover: Investing in cyber insurance may mean that you qualify for a discounted deal – or even free insurance.
● General business benefits: The more cyber security savvy the business is, the more opportunities there will be to improve efficiency and productivity, grow the business and save money.
Full cyber essential accreditation provides your business with a range of benefits; from establishing credibility to attracting new business. To discover how the team here at S.A.D.S IT can help your business gain its Cyber Essentials accreditation, please visit the ‘IT Security’ page on our website to see the services we offer, or contact our team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 0344 811 1167.
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