In today’s digital landscape, businesses face an increasing number of cyber threats that can compromise their sensitive data, disrupt operations, and damage their reputation. As a trusted and reputable Bristol and North Somerset IT support company, Three Cherries understands the importance of robust cyber security measures to protect businesses from cyber attacks. That’s why we’re excited to discuss the UK government-approved Cyber Essentials scheme and the recent changes it has undergone to enhance its effectiveness in combating evolving cyber threats.
What is the Cyber Essentials Scheme?
The Cyber Essentials scheme is a government-approved initiative designed to help businesses of all sizes safeguard their systems, networks, and programs from common cyber attacks. By implementing the five technical controls outlined in the scheme, organisations can significantly mitigate the risks associated with cyber threats. Achieving Cyber Essentials certification demonstrates to customers, investors, and supply chain partners that a business has met the minimum cyber security standards set by the government and can be trusted with sensitive data.
Why is the Scheme Regularly Reviewed?
The threat landscape in the cyber world is constantly evolving, with cyber criminals finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks. To ensure that the Cyber Essentials scheme remains effective in addressing these emerging threats, a team of experts regularly reviews and updates its requirements. This review process enables businesses to continuously raise the bar for their cyber security practices and stay ahead of evolving threats.
Changes to the Cyber Essentials Scheme in 2023, And What They Mean To Your Business
The latest update to the Cyber Essentials scheme, version 3.1, came into force on April 24th, 2023. Let’s explore some of the notable changes introduced in this update:
- Updated Definition of ‘Software’.
The scheme now includes firmware within the scope of the definition of software. This update recognizes the criticality of firewall and router firmware in ensuring robust security. By considering firewall and router firmware as part of the software, the Cyber Essentials scheme emphasises the importance of keeping these systems up to date for enhanced business cyber security.
- Importance of Asset Management.
While not a specific control, good asset management is a fundamental security practice. The updated requirements emphasise the significance of effective asset management in maintaining a secure environment. By tracking and controlling devices connected to the network, businesses can mitigate the risk of unaccounted-for assets becoming potential vulnerabilities.
- Link to BYOD Guidance.
The updated scheme includes a link to the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) guidance on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). This additional resource provides businesses with further information and advice on managing the security risks associated with the use of personal devices in the workplace. See: Device Security Guidance here.
- Clarification on Including Third-Party Devices
The scheme clarifies that all end-user devices owned by the organisation and loaned to third parties must be included in the assessment scope. A new table provides clarity on which third-party devices are considered in scope. This ensures that businesses are aware of the security requirements associated with third-party devices and can apply the necessary controls to mitigate potential risks.
- Device Unlocking and Malware Protection Updates
The scheme now includes updates to the device unlocking section, addressing situations where vendor restrictions prevent certain configurations. Additionally, the malware protection section has been revised to align with the latest recommendations from vendors. These updates aim to enhance the efficacy of controls related to malware defense and ensure businesses are implementing the most effective measures.
- Emphasis on Zero Trust Architecture
With evolving network architectures and the increasing use of cloud services and flexible working arrangements, the Cyber Essentials scheme recognizes the importance of adopting a zero trust architecture. By implementing strong authentication, authorisation, and access policies, businesses can embrace these changes while maintaining robust security practices.
A Valuable Cyber Security Framework For Businesses
As cyber threats continue to evolve, businesses must stay proactive in protecting their systems, networks, and data. The Cyber Essentials scheme provides a valuable framework for organisations to implement essential cyber security controls and demonstrate their commitment to protecting sensitive information.
By partnering with Three Cherries, a leading Bristol and North Somerset IT support company, businesses can navigate the complexities of cyber security with confidence. Our team of experts is well-versed in the latest updates to the Cyber Essentials scheme and can provide comprehensive guidance and support to help your organization achieve certification.
Helping You To Address The Critical Aspects of Your Business Cyber Security
With the recent changes introduced in version 3.1 of the Cyber Essentials scheme, businesses can address critical aspects of cyber security, including firmware management, asset management, third-party device inclusion, and the adoption of zero trust architecture. These updates reflect the evolving threat landscape and ensure that the scheme remains effective in mitigating emerging cyber risks.
Three Cherries – IT Support Bristol
At Three Cherries, we understand that each business has unique security requirements. Our cyber security specialists will work closely with you to develop a tailored cyber security strategy that aligns with your business objectives. Whether you need assistance with securing your network, implementing effective access controls, or enhancing your malware protection measures, we have the expertise to guide you through the process.
Gain A Competitive Edge
By achieving Cyber Essentials certification through Three Cherries, your business can gain a competitive edge. The certification badge signals to customers, investors, and supply chain partners that you have implemented the government-approved minimum level of cyber security measures. This can instill trust and confidence in your organization’s ability to handle sensitive data and protect against cyber threats.
Remember, cyber security is an ongoing process. It requires continuous monitoring, updates, and training to stay ahead of evolving threats. Three Cherries offers security awareness training programs to educate your employees about the latest cyber threats and best practices. By fostering a culture of cyber security awareness within your organization, you can further strengthen your defenses against cyber attacks.
Don’t Leave Your Business Open To Cyber Threats – Call Three Cherries
Don’t leave your business vulnerable to cyber threats. Take the necessary steps to protect your systems, networks, and data by leveraging the expertise of Three Cherries, a trusted Bristol and North Somerset IT support company. Contact us today to discuss your cyber security needs and let us help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats with confidence. Together, we can build a secure digital future for your business.
Stay secure, stay protected with Three Cherries – Your trusted cyber security partner.