Cyber Essentials - Requirements and What You Need to Know

Written by: David Henderson on Mar 02, 2023

Cyber Essentials is a cyber security certification scheme developed by the UK government to help organisations protect themselves against the most common online threats. It provides a set of basic security controls and best practices that organisations can implement to enhance their resilience against cyber attacks.

The certification focuses on five key technical areas:

  1. Boundary firewalls and internet gateways: Ensuring that network perimeters are secured with firewalls and secure internet gateways to control incoming and outgoing network traffic.
  2. Secure configuration: Implementing secure configurations for devices and software, such as disabling unnecessary services and changing default passwords.
  3. User access control: Managing user accounts and access privileges effectively, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access sensitive information and systems.
  4. Malware protection: Implementing appropriate measures to defend against malware threats, such as using up-to-date antivirus software and regularly patching vulnerabilities.
  5. Patch management: Keeping software and devices up to date with the latest security patches to address known vulnerabilities.

By achieving Cyber Essentials certification, organisations demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity and their ability to mitigate common cyber risks. The certification provides assurance to customers, business partners, and stakeholders that the organisation has taken essential steps to protect its systems and data from cyber threats.

It's worth noting that there are different levels of certification within the Cyber Essentials scheme, including the basic Cyber Essentials certification and the more advanced Cyber Essentials Plus certification, which involves additional independent testing and verification of an organisation's security measures.

What Are The Benefits of Becoming Certified to Cyber Essentials?

Certification to Cyber Essentials provides the following benefits for organisations:

  1. Enhanced cybersecurity posture: Implementing recommended controls strengthens the organisation's security foundation.
  2. Mitigation of common risks: Reduces the likelihood of falling victim to prevalent cyber threats.
  3. Demonstrates commitment to cybersecurity: Shows dedication to protecting systems and data.
  4. Compliance with regulatory requirements: Helps meet industry-specific cybersecurity obligations.
  5. Increased customer trust: Inspires confidence and reassures customers about data security.
  6. Supplier eligibility: Opens doors to business opportunities with entities that require certification.
  7. Risk management and insurance benefits: Improves risk profile and potentially reduces insurance premiums.

And not to mention exercising awareness regarding cyber security in general. Many of our customers go on to see cyber security in a completely different light after going through the certification process. They are much more aware of the risks that exist and have the basic tools to help keep themselves safe from the most common types of attacks, helping instil a positive security culture within their organisation.

What Is the Process of Becoming Certified to Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a self-assessment certification. This means that you only need to complete the questionnaire on behalf of your organisation. As a certification body, one of our cyber advisors will then evaluate your answers and provide you with a pass or fail.

The process of Cyber Essentials certification typically follows these simple steps:

1. Completion of the self-assessment questionnaire

2. Assessment of the self-assessment questionnaire

3. Certification pass or fail awarded

The process can be extremely straightforward and can be achieved in as little as a single day.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the certification process take?

The process can be achieved in as little as one working day. However, on average, our customers achieve certification within 5 working days.

What is the cost of becoming certified?

The cost of certification ranges between £300 and £500 depending on the size of your organisation. This includes the cost of certification but does not include any additional time you may request from our team to help you complete the self-assessment questionnaire.

Depending on your level of expertise, you may need your IT service provider to assist you.

Do I need any technical expertise to complete the questionnaire?

You will need a basic level of technical knowledge to complete the questionnaire. As an optional extra, you can request additional help and support from our team to assist you in the completion of the questionnaire.

You may also need to ask your IT service provider to assist you

Do certificates have an expiry date?

Yes, certificates are valid for 12 months and will need to be renewed.

Vertical Structure

As an NCSC assured service provider for Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus, we can help your organisation achieve certification to both standards quickly and easily.

Additionally, our certification body status and in-house team of cyber advisors make Vertical Structure a fantastic choice to help you through the process.

To discuss and start your certification journey, please drop us a message, we’d love to chat.

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