The Cyber Threat and Cyber Essentials

Aida Pandur

Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen massive growth in cybercrime. According to data from the UK Government’s Cyber Breaches Report in 2022, 39% of UK businesses reported cyber breaches in the last 12 months - and those are just the cases that were reported! Unfortunately, these numbers are only rising as we become more and more reliant on technology within our organisations.

UK businesses are experiencing an estimated 65000 cyber attack attempts daily. The message is clear: Cyber security needs to be a priority for every business owner.

What is Cyber Essentials?

With the number of attacks increasing, businesses are starting to take notice of their cyber security and taking steps to reduce their risk; one such way to do this is by getting certified for Cyber Essentials.

Cyber Essentials is a UK Government cyber security scheme operated by the National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ) that encourages organisations to adopt good practices surrounding data security. The scheme was designed by the government to make it easy for SME’s to protect their organisations against common cyber threats by aligning with 5 critical technical controls: Access Control, Firewalls and Internet Gateways, Patch Management, Malware Protection and Secure Configuration.

Getting certified reduces your risk of cyber attack by 80%, making it a hugely important step to take in your cyber security journey. Many certified companies have noted the benefits of having Cyber Essentials under their belts, a recent NCSC report finding that 94% feel more confident about their security and protection against cyber threats post certification.

Benefits of Cyber Essentials

1. Reduce cyber risk by 80%

Aligning with the 5 Cyber Essentials controls will give your business increased protection against common internet-based attacks, minimising the chance of serious damage.

2. Win tenders and new business

Cyber Essentials is required for most public tenders and is becoming increasingly popular in the private sector. Get certified to maximise your chances of winning new tenders.

3. Cheaper cyber insurance premiums

Achieving Cyber Essentials lets insurance providers know you’re taking action for your cyber security, making it more likely your premium will be lower. You even get a basic policy for free with your Cyber Essentials!

4. Build trust through data security commitment

Getting certified demonstrates to your customers and partners that you’re committed to protecting their data from bad actors.

5. A better overview of your IT

Cyber Essentials assessments can be a great opportunity to gain a clearer picture of your infrastructure and address any uncertainties with an internal audit.

6. It’s simply a good place to start

Cyber Essentials offers businesses an affordable and achievable security baseline, making it a great first step on your cyber security journey, to later complement with more advanced systems if required.

Cyber Essentials is growing fast in popularity, with high profile organisations now requiring it of their suppliers, as well as it being a requirement for working with any GOV, MOD or NHS contracts, so there has never been a better time to get certified. Don’t wait to be attacked before you act; protect your organisation today with Cyber Essentials.

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