Do you Need Cyber Essentials & How Do You Get Certified?

Date: 13 July 2023

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Cyber Essentials is a UK government scheme designed to demonstrate that your organisation has a basic minimum level of cybersecurity. It certifies that you are protected against common cyber threats that plague the digital world today. 

In this blog, our experts share some insights into what it really means to have the Cyber Essentials Certification and why it is more important than ever today.

We also show you how our virtual cyber consultancy services can help you reach a successful level of compliance. 

Topics covered in this article: 

  1. What is Cyber Essentials Certification? 
  2. Why is becoming certified important? 
  3. How can our Virtual Cyber Assistants help? 

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What is the Cyber Essentials certification?  

Cyber Essentials is a scheme endorsed by the UK government. It is aimed at ensuring that every business has at least a basic-level of security against common cyber threats and attackers. 

It is an industry backed scheme. The IASME Consortium is the official partner for Cyber Essentials certification, assisting organisations in becoming certified. Several insurance organisations are a part of the consortium that incentivizes businesses to apply for Cyber Essentials. In the UK, since 2014, any government supplier dealing with sensitive or personal information is required to have the certification. 

It is essentially a guideline that recommends having certain ‘technical controls’ in place. These controls make sure your business is protected against threats that have become common in the digital world. 

There are two kinds of certifications that businesses can obtain - Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. 

Cyber Essentials offers a self-assessment option. Cyber Essentials Plus, on the other hand, involves a technical verification. The latter must be renewed every 12 months. 

The Cyber Essentials guidance is a benchmark against which you can evaluate your organisational maturity to remain protected against the most basic cyber-attacks. 

The idea is that if you have some basic technical controls in place, you’re at least safe from the rookie hacker. If you are vulnerable to common cyber-attacks, you automatically get attention from the advanced cyber criminal. 

You can kickstart your journey to attaining a certain level of peace of mind with the Cyber Essentials Readiness Toolkit provided by the National Cyber Security Centre, UK. You could also use our Cyber Essentials Checklist

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Why is becoming Cyber Essentials Certified important NOW?

There are a variety of reasons why securing the certification is beneficial for your business. These include: 

  • Prevent the 'baby hackers', the newbie attackers, from destroying your business. 
  • Protect yourself from getting marked out by the advanced hacker. Every criminal is looking for businesses who don’t have even basic cybersecurity control.
  • Lower the risk exposure to RANSOMWARE attacks that can cause significant financial impact to your organisation.  
  • Lower the risk of regulatory fines such as GDPR fines for leaking personal data of staff and or customers. 
  • Economic collapse, inflation and job losses mean that there are more people desperate to raise a quick buck. They may attempt to compensate by switching to cyber attacks like data theft etc. and hold businesses to ransom. With Cyber Essentials, you can ward off such hackers who are just out there to make a quick buck. 
  • Bitcoin and other cryptos may be down from their highs but they’re not going away. The anonymity they offer encourages more cyber crime. Again, getting your security controls and governance and compliance in order can really help.   
  • Offer proof to your clients and partners that you have prioritised cybersecurity and the safety of their data and sensitive information. 
  • Fulfil requirements by the government and other bodies to secure their contracts.

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How can our Virtual Cyber Assistants Help?

Many of our clients often inquire about the Cyber Essentials program when speaking with our Virtual Cyber Assistants. With Cyber Management Alliance's exclusive Virtual Cyber Assistant service, we can assist you in attaining the Cyber Essentials certification.

Additionally, the certification process itself presents an opportunity to enhance your overall cybersecurity stance. 

Our Virtual Cyber Assistants can assist you in getting certified in the following ways: 

  1. They can help you understand and achieve compliance with the 5 essential controls needed to qualify. 
  2. They can help you create or review and refresh your existing cyber incident response plans, cybersecurity policies, procedures etc. 
  3. They can show you how to implement a Risk Management framework that will work for you. 
  4. They can help you create Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans required to achieve compliance.

The best part is that just like the Cyber Essentials scheme itself, our Virtual Cyber Assistant service is simple and straightforward. You get to pick and choose how many days/hours of service you require and pay for a package accordingly. It’s remote and therefore extremely cost-effective and flexible in terms of coordination. 

We also have exclusive packages tailored just for Cyber Essentials certification and many other cybersecurity standards. This may be the easiest way for you to start your journey towards achieving compliance and bolstering your overall cybersecurity posture.    

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