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Cyber Essentials: prove how seriously you take your security

Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2016
By Grant Davey
Networking & Security consultant

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As the tsunami of cyber assaults and data losses continues to collect casualties, security measures are becoming ever more integral in keeping businesses afloat and reputations intact. Startling statistics and household names falling foul of security breaches suggest the current run of high profile data disasters only looks set to continue. In fact, HP's Ponemon study, The Rising Cost of Cybercrime, claims the average cost of a security incident is £4.1 million, whilst recent research from think tank CEBR puts the collective cost of cyber-attacks to UK business at £34bn per year, tied up in defences and repairing the damage following a breach. If you haven't already, now is the time to get serious about your security.

We're therefore very excited to launch our new Cyber Essentials service to help organisations looking to achieve this certification standard in their security posture. For those unfamiliar with Cyber Essentials, it was developed last year by the UK Government with the aim of encouraging organisations to adhere to good practice for both information security and internet safety. Its function is to both ensure that businesses can be confident in their levels of IT security and prove this to their customers. Cyber Essentials provides any business looking to make their infrastructure more secure with a strong baseline to work to for cyber security.

The accreditation is based on self-assessment, following a pre-defined framework where organisations are expected to provide statements around the measures they have in place for key components of cyber security. It puts the onus on those seeking certification to demonstrate clear proof that their security is to an acceptable standard, evidence of which is then judged by a select group of government authorised security specialists. In partnership, with Protection Group International (PGI), Softcat is able to fulfil this role for those hoping to obtain certification.

How it works: The Essentials

Cyber Essentials is a foundation level certification that can be obtained for as little as £395. It is completed through an online portal and requires a formal response to 12 questions governing your current security policy. Once you've submitted your responses leave the rest to us. Our team of friendly Cyber Essentials consultants examine your answers, approve your position on each, or offer guidance for remediation to achieve compliance. Importantly, the exercise of going through this process will highlight any potential security flaws or risks that you may not have been aware of, potentially saving you a lot of time and resource. Once you've passed, you'll receive a certificate to demonstrate your achievement.

It doesn't stop there!

Cyber Essentials is a base line certification, demonstrating you have the basic components in place for a sound security posture. The Cyber Essentials Plus certification is the next step. It offers a full in-person assessment of your cyber security by an external consultant, and achievement demonstrates the importance of security to your organisation and the investment you have made in having the right measures in place. For organisations seeking this advanced level, Softcat can help fast-track you through the process to meet the required standard.

Whatever business you're in, cyber security is relevant to you. Increasingly, supplier-customer-partner relationships need the reassurance of sound cyber security and the Cyber Essentials certification is an economic way to add industry recognised reassurance to these transactions. Whether you need to baseline your position with Essentials or demonstrate that 'extra step' with Plus, Softcat knows the demands of the framework and will help you achieve certification.

Find out more

To find out more about the Cyber Essentials assessment, speak to your Softcat Account Manager or register using the button below.

Register for the Cyber Essentials assessment

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