Becoming Cyber Essentials certified can help to strengthen your business cybersecurity, improve efficiency and increase new business opportunities with UK government contracts as it is a government-backed industry leading Cyber Essentials accreditation.
If your business handles personal data then it’s essential for you to demonstrate that you have implemented and work by important cybersecurity controls. Therefore it is beneficial that your business becomes Cyber Essentials Certified.
The certification demonstrates to clients that you are committed to enforcing the highest standards of network security of your systems and the data it processes. With reduced security risks there will be reduced cyber insurance premiums, therefore it has significant financial advantages.
The different types of Cyber Essential Certifications
Processing the certification can help your company to identify and remove a number of network security risks, therefore it will protect your organization against cybersecurity threats.
There are 2 levels of Cyber essentials certification:
- Cyber Essentials Standard
- Cyber Essentials Plus
The standard certification is affordable and it is also the fastest way for your business to demonstrate that it has implemented the best practices and there are no security risks.
The Cyber Essentials Plus is a more comprehensive certification compared to the Cyber Essential Standard.
How does the Cyber Essentials Certification effect GDPR compliance?
Your organization will require more than the Cyber Essentials Certification to comply with GDPR. However, as there is not guaranteed certification of GDPR compliance, it is a step in the right direction as this certification can act as evidence that you have taken action and commitment by following steps towards increasing your organisation’s security and protecting its processed data at a time where data protection is very important. Having this certification can increase your reputation and trust among clients.
Cyber Essential Certification contains 5 key controls that will help your organization take action towards becoming GDPR compliant:
- Boundary firewalls and internet gateways
- Secure Configuration
- Access control
- Malware protection
- Patch management and software updates
Is the Cyber Essentials Certification necessary and are there any penalties for not undertaking it?
In the UK it is necessary for any firm that wishes to work with UK government bodies and bid for its contracts that involve handling personal data.
However, apart from the potential risks to data and systems, there are no direct penalties for not undertaking the Cyber Essentials Certification. However, the GDPR is necessary, therefore any company that handles or processes personal data in the EU must be compliant with the regulation or there could be financial penalties.
If you are a small to medium business that wants protection from cyber-attacks, and to ensure that your information security safe, the Cyber Essentials Certification is ideal as although it was developed in the UK it is recognized around the world as an IT security standard.
However, it is important to remember that all organization’s whether they have the Cyber Essentials Certification or not need to be in compliance with the GDPR when it comes into effect in May.