Staying Secure: The Role Of Cyber Essentials in 2024

Cyber security for small businesses is more important than ever – 83% of SMBs reported they have had more than one data breach. The most targeted industries are finance, consulting, telecom, manufacturing, and insurance, but businesses in any sector can be at risk. A breach can affect your reputation and damage customer loyalty – so don’t let your business be next. The Cyber Essentials scheme exists to help businesses of all sizes take basic steps to protect themselves from the most common cyber threats such as data breaches.

Three Cherries are a Bristol IT support company dedicated to bringing our clients an easy to understand, simple alternative to the complicated approach and obscure jargon thrown about in the industry. Instead, we deliver straightforward IT and computer support to your business, helping to boost efficiency and enhance your productivity.

In this article, we explain what the Cyber Essentials scheme is and why you should consider getting your business certified in 2024.

 

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a government backed scheme which aims to bring businesses in line with strong cybersecurity measures. The aim is to ensure that any certified business is secure from common cyberthreats. There are two levels of certification, these are Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus.

IT support outsourcing company looking at a server during a cyber essentials audit

Why Should You Become Certified?

By becoming certified, your businesses cybersecurity will greatly improve due to the new security measures adopted. Statistics suggest that businesses which are certified prevent 80% of cyber attacks. With cyberthreats being a constant and evolving day by day, being able to defend yourself against the majority of these threats will be a game changer for your business.

Another benefit of being certified is that your company will look attractive to customers, suppliers and prospects. By being seen as taking cyber security seriously, other companies will trust you with sensitive data more and be more inclined to use your business.

 

Cyber Essentials Certification

The lowest form of certification is Cyber Essentials. This is quite simply a self-assessment questionnaire which you must complete. This questionnaire would feature questions surrounding current security practices. This is then reviewed by an assessor to the government guidelines. You will then consequently either receive a pass or fail certification based on the assessment.

 

Cyber Essentials Plus Certification

In the Cyber Essentials Plus certificate, you will complete the same questionnaire issued in the more basic form, but you will also have an external assessor audit your IT and security systems to verify that you’re in line with the regulations. This therefore puts it at a higher level of certification.

Many businesses may need support to be cyber essentials assessment ready due to the requirements. It is important that the service provider you choose whist going through the accreditation process is knowledgeable and trustworthy. If you’re unsure on any steps of the process, get in touch with Three Cherries and we can guide you through the processes involved.

group of people in a meeting discussing cyber essentials

How Much Does Cyber Essentials Cost?

The scheme follows a tiered pricing structure based on the size of a business (employee count) and whether you choose the more basic certification or the higher Cyber Essentials Plus certificate. The overall cost of gaining the certificate however will vary depending on where your company is in terms of readiness and compliance already.

 

How Long Does Cyber Essentials Certification Last?

The certificate issued by IASME have an expiry date of 12 months. This means it is annually renewable if you wish to continue your certification. The certification does get updated frequently and therefore requirements may change as time passes.

 

What Happens If You Fail The Cyber Essentials Certification?

If you fail the assessment, you will be given a short period of time to make the changes and put yourself in line with the correct requirements. However, if you fail to make these changes before the period of re-assessment ends, you will need to pay for an assessment again. This therefore highlights the importance of ensuring your network is compliant with the guidelines. A trusted cybersecurity provider such as Three Cherries will be able to ensure you are ready for the assessment.

group of people working at an it support somerset company

Who Has Cyber Essentials?

Many different businesses have the certification, a good example can be found in the case study linked here. This highlights a real-world example of a charity that has become certified and the experience they had with the process.

 

Three Cherries: Helping Your Business Get Certified

At Three Cherries, we take cybersecurity seriously. It’s a key area to focus on in order for safety and successful business growth. All companies should strive to become certified due to the benefits in security it can bring you. If you’re unsure as to where your business sits in terms of certification readiness, contact us today.

 

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