Do I Need A Cyber Essentials Certification?

Do I Need A Cyber Essentials Certification?

Internet & Security

Do I Need A Cyber Essentials Certification?

When it comes to online safety, having the right precautions in place is key. A large part of crime in the modern world takes place online, so having cybersecurity to protect your organisation is as important as locking your front door. Cyber Essentials offers a way of deterring cybercriminals from your data. Implementing such technology into your business, will not only reassure you but equally reassure customers that their data is safe in your hands. This guide will cover what Cyber Essentials is and whether your business needs the certification.

What Is A Cyber Essentials Certificate?

The Cyber Essentials Scheme is a government-backed program aimed at helping organisations protect themselves from everyday online threats. The scheme is also backed by industry experts including the Federation of Small Businesses, the CBI, and several insurance companies, establishing Cyber Essentials as a valued measure against cyber attacks.

There are two levels of certification: Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. The former is a self-assessed option offering protection from the most common cyber threats, whereas the latter is more of a hands-on technical verification. Both certifications give users peace of mind that they have strong cyber defences and the controls in place to handle threats in the worst possible scenario.

Why Do I Need A Cyber Essentials Certificate?

The Cyber Essentials Certification highlights to clients and other professionals that your organisation has a baseline level of satisfactory online security. It is therefore not only a necessity in terms of the protection of your business, but the certificate can also add value to the image you portray to the outside world. When customers see a business accredited with a government-backed scheme for cybersecurity, they are more likely to trust the company with their data, increasing the likelihood of new business.

Also, depending on your business, some industries may require a Cyber Essentials Certificate due to the handling of sensitive personal information. It is therefore important to know where your business stands with this and prepare in the appropriate way.

Which Businesses Require Cyber Essentials?

For some organisations, Cyber Essentials is a mandatory requirement. It mainly pertains to contracts, so if you do not deal with the contracts mentioned below it is unlikely your business will require Cyber Essentials. However, it is still a particularly important scheme to be a part of so don’t dismiss it despite not being mandatory.

Government Contracts

If you’re looking to bid for central government contracts, you will most likely need Cyber Essentials. These contracts often involve the handling of sensitive data, so the government has labelled Cyber Essentials as mandatory in these cases. Any government contract where your business will deal with UK citizens’ personal information, government employees’ personal information, or IT products and services at an official level will expose your organisation to some sensitive information; hence the need for Cyber Essentials. This simply reassures the government that you are a trusted provider and have met all technical requirements.

Ministry Of Defence Contracts

Likewise, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD)also requires all their suppliers to meet the Cyber Essentials level of certification. MOD has placed a significant emphasis on the accreditation, stating that the requirement should flow down the supply chain. This means that all organisations involved with MOD’s business, including those working with the suppliers and not directly with MOD themselves, should be certified. If you fall into any of these categories it is therefore imperative that you get Cyber Essentials.

How Do I Get A Cyber Essentials Certificate?

To get a Cyber Essentials certificate, you will first need to decide on the level of certification you’d like: Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus. Once you’ve thought this over, you’ll need to go to the government website to get started, following the on-screen instructions.

Cyber Essentials can be a great way of reassuring customers, attracting new business, and protecting your organisation from common cyber threats. Even if it’s not mandatory, it’s certainly worth a thought. Get started with Cyber Essentials today.