What is Cyber Essentials and do I need it?

Cyber Essentials

What is Cyber Essentials and do I need it?

If you’re well read in the IT space or listen to your IT team talk for more than a few minutes a day then chances are you’ve heard somebody mention Cyber Essentials, maybe even Cyber Essentials Plus. But what do these mysterious words mean? Do I need to understand them and are they even relevant to my industry?

The team at Jera IT are here to help you with this guide to Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. What does each one mean and when should you begin worrying about them?

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a government backed certification which was introduced to help protect UK businesses against cyber attacks. With cyber attacks on the rise, it’s never been more important to be proactive and get ahead of the game, and having your business achieve cyber essentials is an absolutely fantastic first step on your cyber secure journey.

Other than putting you in a good place to fend off cyber criminals, becoming CE certified has a few other benefits you might find interesting:

  • Becoming certified in cyber essentials will inspire confidence in your current clients, letting them know you’re up to date with the latest standards.
  • In some industries and the public sector, cyber essentials isn’t optional. If your business wants to win government contracts, you’ll need a certification letting people know you’re a safe partner!
  • Cyber Essentials certification can also help you attract new business to your company by lending some authority to your name.

How to become Cyber Essentials Certified

There are a number of assessment providers in the UK. The process itself is based on self assessment, so upon paying your assessment fee you will have a set amount of time to fill out your self assessment and pass it back to your assessor. You’ll then be added to a directory and given a spiffy downloadable badge to put on your website!

If you need any advice on the steps required, we’re always on hand for a chat.


What is Cyber Essentials Plus:

Cyber Essentials Plus is exactly what it sounds like. A far more rigorous version of the regular Cyber Essentials Framework. Plus covers the same 5 areas, but rather than being self assessment led, rather it will feature an audit of all 5 areas by a tech professional.

The assessment for both will cover:

  • Firewalls
  • Insurance
  • Device Locking
  • Secure Configuration
  • User control
  • Password based authentication

All this and much more. If reading these you feel underprepared in any way, our resources section contains a huge variety of articles which will help you prepare your team for assessment in these areas.


What’s next?

Once you have completed your Cyber Essentials or CE plus certification don’t get carried away by all the new government contracts you’re winning and the flashy logo you’ve updated your website with. Your cyber security journey is only just beginning. CE is a great first step but it should be treated as a jumping off point rather than an end goal.

In the last 5 years cyber attacks have become more and more likely, it’s only with constant commitment to training and development that you can stay ahead of the latest trends. It’s vital you invest time in training and setting up processes to keep your team within the bounds of certification and prepared to meet any future challenges to cyber security.

You could always hand it over to the best external support in Scotland… but whichever works for your business we wish you well in your Cyber Essentials journey!