How Do You Get Cyber Essentials Certified?

Date: 3 November 2022

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You’ve probably heard quite a bit about the Cyber Essentials scheme and what it means to have the Cyber Essentials Certification for your business.

Cyber Essentials is a government-backed scheme that seeks to ensure that every business has at least some basic levels of cybersecurity controls in place. It gives a minimum level of protection against common cyber-attacks and ransomware attacks by rookie criminals looking to make a quick buck. It also helps prevent data breaches involving sensitive information.   

But is it easy for anyone to achieve this certification? Does it require implementation of complicated security measures?  

This is a question many of our clients ask our Virtual Cyber Assistants about the Cyber Essentials scheme.

Cyber Management Alliance’s unique Virtual Cyber Assistant service can help you achieve the Cyber Essentials certification with greater ease.  

What is more? During the process of getting certified you can also improve your overall cybersecurity posture. You may also get your cyber incident response plans, procedures and processes in order. In this blog, we show you how. 

Topics covered in this article: 

  1. How do you become Cyber Essentials certified? 
  2. How can our Virtual Cyber Assistants help in Cyber Essentials Consultancy? 

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How do you become Cyber Essentials certified?  

Simplicity is, fortunately, one of the core traits of the Cyber Essentials scheme. Therefore, getting certified has been made quite straightforward too. 

The IASME Consortium is the official Cyber Essentials partner that helps organisations become certified.  

You can get two types of Certifications - Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. 

For the Cyber Essentials Certification, you can simply fill up the self-assessment questionnaire. You will evaluate your business against five basic cybersecurity controls and apply for Cyber Essentials certification. 

Once you've filled up your self-assessment questionnaire, you will then submit this assessment form to BiP Solutions - the Certification Body. After submitting the questionnaire, a qualified assessor verifies the information provided and if everything is in order, your certificate is issued by IASME Consortium. 

Do remember that the deadline for submitting the assessment form is three months from the start date of the application process. 

If you do receive the Cyber Essentials certification, you will also receive the necessary certification collateral that you can use for branding, on your government bids etc. 

The Cyber Essentials Plus certificate comes at a price ranging between GBP 300-500 (+VAT), depending on the size of your organisation. To secure this certificate, the qualified assessor actually tests your technical controls to see if they are effective. The Cyber Essentials Plus certificate needs to be renewed every 12 months. 

To feel better prepared for your assessment, you can use the Cyber Essentials Readiness toolkit provided by the National Cyber Security Centre, UK. You might want to refer to our Cyber Essentials checklist to get a basic idea of how to get started. 

This can help you in self-reflecting and gauging where your organisation currently stands. You can then work on building an action plan and security controls for your business that will help you become secure enough to pass the assessment.   

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Our Virtual Cyber Assistants can Help you achieve Cyber Essentials Certification

While the Cyber Essentials certification process has purposely been made simple and straightforward, our clients often need comprehensive support in getting started. 

Several businesses often have a strong cybersecurity mindset. Yet when it comes to applying for the certification they don’t feel confident that their business is truly secure against malicious software, basic online attacks, phishing attacks etc. 

This is where our Virtual Cyber Assistant service can play a very helpful role. 

When you do use the Readiness Toolkit, you may realise one or more of the following: 

  1. You are far from having the 5 necessary cybersecurity controls required to pass the assessment. 
  2. A lot of your cybersecurity plans, policies and procedures are either out of date or not fit for purpose. 
  3. Your organisation has a long way to go before you can feel satisfied with your cybersecurity posture.
  4. You need direction and/or guidance in creating new cybersecurity artefacts and aligning your organisation with basic governance and compliance requirements. 
  5. You need a professional review of your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans, processes and procedures. 
  6. You need assistance in improving your Risk Management processes. 
  7. You believe that some of your critical infrastructure, cloud based data and/or IoT devices could use better protection. 
  8. You want professional advice on choosing the right security solutions. 

Our Virtual Cyber Assistant cybersecurity experts can help you with all of the above and more. Basically, this service is right for you if you want to gradually improve your cyber maturity and become fit for the Cyber Essentials certification. It is also perfect for you if you don’t have the budget or requirement for hiring expensive cybersecurity talent. 

The best part? It is highly flexible and cost effective as it is an asynchronous and ticket-based service. You raise a ticket for a task you need done on the self-service portal. Your Virtual Cyber Assistant will do the job for you within pre-defined timelines.  

Find out more about our Virtual Cyber Assistant service and see how it can help you become Cyber Essentials certified. 

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