Cyber Essentials, is it on your radar yet?

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David Areskog

Solutions Engineer
David is a Cyber Security expert and fully qualified to audit SMEs to Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. He’s also an experienced IT engineer, having worked in multiple Managed Service Providers across the last decade.

At bzb IT, Dave is accountable for Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency alongside CE audits.

You’re likely to have heard the phrase ‘cyber security’ by now, it refers to the practice of protecting your network, systems, and sensitive data from digital attacks. But how do small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) do that?

There’s no doubt about it, technology is moving forward quicker than ever, and with it comes complexity. But businesses simply must keep pace to protect themselves from the very real threat of cyber-attacks. According to research conducted by Hiscox, there are around 65,000 attempts per day to hack SMBs in the UK, with 4,500 of these being successful. That equates to 1.6m per year in the UK alone.

That’s the harsh reality of the landscape facing SMBs right now, and whilst easy to turn a blind eye to, it’s critically important we don’t. So, enough of the scary stuff, and onto the solution.

Cyber Essentials

The UK government understand the threat facing SMBs and have backed a ‘Cyber Essentials’ scheme delivered through IASME to help prevent cyber-attacks. The scheme consists of a self-assessment which evaluates your current infrastructure versus five key controls, which is then marked by a qualified assessor (from a certification body of your choice) with a pass or fail. In our experience, businesses with technical IT support delivered either internally or externally are more likely to pass the assessment.

Cyber Essentials Plus

Cyber Essentials Plus still has the Cyber Essentials approach, and the protections you need to put in place are the same, but in addition a technical verification is carried out by the certification body via an audit. It’s not as scary as that sounds though, and nobody is trying to catch anyone out, it’s simply a way to verify your controls and give you complete peace of mind.

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How do I know if my business needs to be Cyber Essentials certified?

These schemes are seen as minimum standard and relevant to all businesses regardless of size or sector. In our opinion, the difficulty facing SMBs is getting their IT infrastructure in a position to pass the certification. But ultimately this is the point in the scheme, an effort to get all UK businesses up to the desired standard to protect themselves against cyber-attacks.

Here comes the shameless plug – if you’re a business owner or key decision maker and need IT support to get up to the required standard, then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. We ensure all our partners infrastructure is up to cyber essentials standard at minimum. Check out our IT Support page for more details.

Still not convinced. Here’s three key benefits…

Achieving Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus will not only give you peace of mind, but it’ll also provide tangible benefits to your business:

  • Cyber Essentials is required for all public sector tenders including government, NHS, and MOD. It’s also becoming increasingly required in the private sector and it’s a great way to tangibly demonstrate that your infrastructure, and thereby any customer data, is secure.
  • If your organisation has a turnover of under £20m, being Cyber Essentials certified will give you free cyber liability insurance, saving you up to £25,000.
  • Being certified to this UK government backed standard will prevent up to 80% of cyber-attacks.
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Lets round this up

You might have picked up on the fact that we’re passionate about helping businesses get cyber secure, so much so, we’ve become a certification body for Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus.

That way, we can support businesses ‘end-to-end’. Whether that’s becoming partners so we can get your IT infrastructure up to the standard and guarantee your pass (and so much more), or simply administering the chosen scheme via our qualified assessors, we’re with you every step of the way.

If you’ve made it this far into the blog, then firstly thank you. But secondly, why not get in touch with our cyber experts, who will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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