The security of business data and systems has become a key concern for organisations across all industries. The rise in cyber threats and the potentially devastating consequences of a breach have highlighted the need for robust cybersecurity measures. One crucial step that UK enterprises can take to bolster their defences is obtaining the Cyber Essentials Plus certification. This article explores the significance of obtaining certification and its impact on safeguarding the digital infrastructure of businesses in the UK.
What is Cyber Essentials Plus?
Cyber Essentials Plus is a cybersecurity certification programme developed by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and backed by the UK government. Its aim is to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber threats. It is an extension of the Cyber Essentials scheme, which provides a baseline set of security controls that organisations can implement to safeguard their systems and data. Cyber Essentials Plus builds upon this by requiring an independent assessment of an organisation’s security measures conducted by an accredited certification body, like Hyperslice. When fully implemented, it can prevent around 80% of cyberattacks.
To achieve Cyber Essentials Plus certification, organisations must undergo rigorous testing and assessment of their systems and networks. The areas assessed are secure configuration, boundary firewalls and internet gateways, access control and administrative privilege management, patch management and malware protection.
By obtaining Cyber Essentials Plus certification, organisations demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity best practices and enhance their overall security posture. It can provide assurance to customers, partners and stakeholders that appropriate measures are in place to protect against prevalent cyber risks.
Benefits of achieving certification
Here are some of the key advantages of achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification:
Strengthening cybersecurity resilience
The certification process involves a comprehensive assessment of an organisation’s cybersecurity controls, including vulnerability scanning and penetration testing. By successfully obtaining certification, enterprises will have met the baseline standard for cybersecurity practices, demonstrating their commitment to protecting their sensitive data and systems from malicious threats. Furthermore, by adhering to the Cyber Essentials Plus requirements, organisations significantly enhance their resilience against cyberattacks, reducing the risk of data breaches, financial losses and reputational damage.
Legal and regulatory compliance
With the increasing emphasis on data privacy and protection, organisations that hold personal and sensitive customer information must ensure their systems are secure. By achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification, businesses show they are fulfilling their obligations to data protection and cybersecurity regulations, like GDPR and PCI-DSS, while minimising the potential for legal action and hefty fines associated with non-compliance.
Building customer trust
In today’s market, customer trust plays a pivotal role in an enterprise’s success. Cyber Essentials Plus certification acts as a powerful testament to an organisation’s dedication to cybersecurity best practices. What’s more, by being able to display the certification logo, businesses can reassure customers, partners and stakeholders that they have taken the necessary measures to protect their data. This increased trust not only strengthens existing customer relationships but also attracts new clients who prioritise security. As a result, obtaining certification can also provide a competitive advantage in the market, differentiating certified enterprises from their competitors.
Safeguarding against cyberattacks
Cybercriminals employ a wide range of sophisticated techniques to breach an organisation’s security, many of which exploit common but easily preventable vulnerabilities. Cyber Essentials Plus certification equips businesses with the necessary tools and knowledge to mitigate these risks effectively. By addressing fundamental cybersecurity best practices, such as secure configuration, access control and malware protection, organisations significantly reduce their vulnerability to prevalent threats like ransomware, phishing and data theft. Implementing the recommended security measures helps create a robust security posture and reduces the likelihood of a successful cyberattack.
Enhancing business continuity
Cyberattacks can have catastrophic consequences. They can cause significant disruptions to operations and financial stability, and in the worst cases, can put enterprises out of business. Cyber Essentials Plus certification helps companies establish effective business continuity plans and enhances resilience in the face of cyber threats. By proactively identifying vulnerabilities and implementing appropriate security measures, organisations can minimise the impact of potential incidents. The certification process not only highlights areas for improvement but also provides guidance on implementing best practices, ensuring that businesses have effective backup, continuity and disaster recovery strategies in place to recover swiftly in the event of a cyberattack.
As threats grow in both number and sophistication, cybersecurity must be a top priority for enterprises. The Cyber Essentials Plus certification serves as a vital tool in strengthening the defences of organisations against continually evolving threats. Through certification, businesses demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity best practices, meet legal and regulatory requirements, and build trust with customers. In addition, certification equips organisations with the necessary knowledge and tools to safeguard against common cyber threats while enhancing business continuity and resilience.
Considering Cyber Essentials Plus?
Hyperslice, the UK’s leading independent IT solutions provider, is an accredited expert authorised to carry out external Cyber Essentials Plus certification assessments. Our teams can also help you implement the correct measures to fortify your security and achieve certification. Find out more.