What is Cyber Essentials?

What is Cyber Essentials?

Do you know much about Cyber Security? I’m sure you would’ve heard a lot of talk about it within the business world. Cyber Security has become such a global issue that the government is now backing a scheme called Cyber Essentials and recommending it to all businesses, no matter the size.

Would my business be at risk of a Cyber Attack?

Malicious cyber attacks against businesses have skyrocketed over the last few years. Cyber criminals are not fussy and will target any business. Previously, you may have thought “I have a small business, they won’t target us” – you couldn’t be any more wrong. If there is a slight chance they can break into your business network and steal data, they will try without a second thought.

What is a data breach?

A data breach is when information is stolen from your business network without your authorisation – this includes all yours and your client’s confidential information. Hackers do this because they know how important your data is and they will use it as ransom, so you have to pay to get the data back – sometimes the data isn’t even guaranteed to be returned, would you trust the cyber criminal to send the data back once paid, even though they stole it in the first place?

How much does it cost to recover from a data breach?

It will cost your business on average £19,400 due to a data breach, along with many other implications. Think of how long your business could cope without access to your IT systems because of a cyber attack, one day, two days, a week… Now think about the knock on effect of not being able to process orders, contact customers etc. How would you feel if you lost your client’s confidential information?

This will cost you a significant amount of money to repair the damage to your profits and your reputation, as your clients could also lose a lot of trust in your business and what it stands for.

Government Cyber Security scheme

Cyber Essentials is a government backed accreditation scheme to prove how seriously a business takes cyber security, showing they are a modern innovative business that will not take any risks when it comes to keeping data safe and secure. An easier way to put it, it’s similar to an MOT for your car. A yearly check to make sure you have the basics in place to protect your business.

There are two types of Cyber Essentials certification, here is the difference:

Cyber Essentials

The basic Cyber Essentials is an option for a self-assessment to protect your business against the most common cyber attacks. With this certification, you will have the reassurance that your business has the right policies and defences in place if a cyber attack was to take place. You will be more prepared and have the basic knowledge of how to prevent an attack.

Cyber Essential Plus

Dive a bit deeper into cyber security with Cyber Security Plus, you will need to carry out Cyber Essentials before doing Plus, but will give you the extra reassurance that you take your business security seriously. It has a more hands-on approach with added technical verification. A third party contractor will scan your network for any possible security concerns, which will allow you to remediate any problems that could put you at risk. Once completed, you can have the peace of mind knowing you have protected your business.

Why does my business need Cyber Essentials?

There are so many different cyber security tools out there, so why should you be certified in Cyber Essentials? As I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, cyber security is a scary hot topic at the moment, and everyone is talking about it. Cyber Essentials will encourage potential clients to work with you as they will be looking out for businesses that have security measures in place.

If you were a business that works/wants to work with the government, you will find that being Cyber Essential certified is becoming mandatory for government contracts. This can be a great way of standing out from your competitors.

Similarly, it will help you build a better relationship with your current and potential future clients as they will feel safe and reassured knowing you are taking data protection seriously.

If you are interested and would like to read more about Cyber Essentials, click here.