What Is Cyber Essentials?
For most organisations and companies these days, maintaining a high level of cyber security couldn’t be more important. Not only is it key to protect customers and users’ personal and financial information from hackers, but it’s also vital to keep computer systems safe from any kind of threat which could compromise their functionality. With many high-profile cybercrime incidents having been seen in the media recently, the Cyber Essentials scheme is becoming ever more prevalent.
Cyber Essentials – The Basics
Cyber Essentials is a scheme which is supported by industry and backed by the Government. It’s designed to help organisations to protect themselves from many commonly-seen online threats to security and to make conducting business over the internet safer within the UK.
Having worked in conjunction with the IASME (Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises) consortium and the ISF (Information Security Forum), the Government has developed the Cyber Essentials scheme which awards organisations with badges to acknowledge their participation.
Suitable for use across all sectors, Cyber Essentials can be accessed by organisations of any type or size, and there are two levels of accreditation: Cyber Essentials – the basic standard, and Cyber Essentials Plus, which offers even greater reassurance.
What Are The Benefits Of Achieving Cyber Essentials Accreditation?
Achieving Cyber Essentials certification brings a host of benefits to organisations and companies of all kinds. Apart from the obvious advantages to a business of having robust cyber-security processes in place in terms of peace of mind, having a Cyber Essentials badge enhances the reputation of the company, proving to customers and clients that the security of all personal and financial information is being taken seriously and all steps are being taken to reduce potential cyber risks.
For companies that supply large organisations which are keen to manage their own third-party risks, having certification in place ensures that they will pose no threat to the supply chain, and for businesses which want to make an application for a government contract, Cyber Essentials certification is not only advisable, it is a requirement.
What Are The Implications For GDPR?
GDPR is coming into effect in May 2018 and all companies will be required to comply. The GDPR (or General Data Protection Regulation) is an attempt by the EU to bring update data protection to meet the needs of today’s technologically advanced world in which data can be used in which that could not have been foreseen at the time of the 1998 Data Protection Act.
Despite any implications of Brexit, the GDPR will still be coming into force, and will see rules being implemented in an attempt to keep data private, and tough fines will apply to those who breach the regulations. Any organisation which intends to trade within the EU must comply with the GDPR and therefore it’s very important for companies to adhere to the new guidelines.
Cyber Essentials certification is a key step towards achieving GDPR compliance, as it provides clear evidence that a company has made the effort to protect its business and data from any cyberattack.