April 25, 2024

Getting Cyber Essentials Certification and more: Tips for ensuring long-term IT Security

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You’ll read it on the news and hear it on your TV – nowadays, the importance of cyber security is greater than ever. Since more of our lives are digitised, companies of all industries are now more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Moreover, as new trends and attacks pop up daily, it can be challenging to keep track, especially when you have other responsibilities to worry about.

Still, in times like these, it’s crucial to be proactive rather than reactive. One way to do it? By getting your Cyber Essentials certification and ensuring your business follows the best IT security practices.

What is Cyber Essentials Certification?

According to research, more than 80% of cyber attacks in the UK could have been prevented by implementing basic security controls and systems. As a solution to this issue, the UK Government introduced the Cyber Essentials Certification scheme in 2024.

The idea behind it is simple: to promote good security practices and highlight their importance for any business. In fact, the scheme is designed to be easy and budget-friendly for everyone, whether you’re a small firm or a big enterprise.

Getting certified shows that you’re serious about keeping your data safe, giving your customers, partners, and stakeholders peace of mind knowing you’ve implemented the essential security measures.

The Cyber Essentials scheme focuses on five key areas for keeping your digital space safe:

  1. Malware Protection: Finding measures that protect your business against viruses and malware
  2. Boundary Firewalls: Making sure your network connections are secure
  3. User Access Control: Managing who gets access to your data, ensuring only the permitted people can use your information
  4. Secure Configuration: Staying up to date with all the necessary security patches
  5. Patch Management: Keeping your software up to date with the latest security patches and finding any loopholes that need to be fixed.

Why Do You Need A Cyber Essentials Certification?

If you’re already putting in the effort to keep your business cyber-secure, you might be wondering whether it’s worth getting a Cyber Essentials certification. The answer depends on the nature of your company, the data it handles, and its client requirements.

For example, if your business handles sensitive customer data, such as financial details or health records, enhancing your cyber security measures is certainly a ‘must’. Likewise, if your company has a strong online presence, it might be more exposed to cyber threats, making the certification more valuable.

One of the biggest benefits of getting a Cyber Essentials certification is the fact that your company’s name will be shown on the NCSC website for the 12 months it is valid. This means it will be easier for your customers to validate your business. Likewise, if you wish to work with organisations in the public sector and bid for contracts, you will need a Cyber Essentials accreditation to do so.

Did You Know

Cybercrime cost UK businesses over £30.5 billion in 2023.

How Can You Get The Certification?

Once you’ve decided to obtain the Cyber Essentials certification, you’ll have to choose your level of certification (Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus), complete a self-assessment questionnaire, and have it reviewed by the Certification Body.

If you don’t have a technical IT background or your company has a complex structure, it can be difficult to go through the application process. That’s where professional Cyber Essentials consultancy can come in handy.

At Ingenious, we’ve helped a number of different businesses get their Cyber Essentials certification. By teaming up with us, you won’t have to worry about the practicalities – we’ll assist you at every step of the process while you can focus on other matters.

What About Long-Term IT Security?

Although the Cyber Essentials scheme can offer several benefits, it’s not what every company needs. During our consultations, we always offer advice on whether getting the certification could really impact your business’s success and growth.

One of the ways to figure this out is to weigh the direct costs of obtaining the certification against the potential costs of a cyber incident (including data breach fines, reputational damage and more).

But even if you come to the conclusion that getting a Cyber Essentials is not a worthwhile investment for your company, you should still prioritise cyber security. The numbers are striking. According to Beaming, cyber crime affected 1.5 million businesses in the UK last year.

Nowadays, it’s widely understood that it’s not a question of if but when a company might face a data breach or system loss due to a malicious act. The goal, of course, is to make that “when” as unlikely as possible. So, what can you do? At Ingenious, we believe in striking a balance between security and business impact, as well as costs versus benefits.

When you team up with us, we’ll create a cyber security strategy catered to your specific needs. We’ll take care of:

  • Your people (Whether you need security awareness training, phishing simulations and testing, help with password policies and management, VPNs, or implementing any other security standards, we’ll always be just a call away!)
  • Your machines (Through encryption, device tracking remote wipe, and other methods, we’ll ensure your workstations, servers, and mobiles are up to date and as secure as possible)
  • Your cloud systems (No more worrying about losing your precious files)

…and more!

Final Thoughts

With our lives becoming more dependent on online shopping, banking, and socialising, cyber security is no longer an option—it’s a ‘must’ for any business. If you’re thinking about enhancing your firm’s security, our Cyber Essentials consultancy will help you navigate the complex process of getting a Cyber Essentials certification.

Contact us to discuss how we can look after your IT needs (including long-term IT security).

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