Cyber Essentials

A strong candidate for your first cyber security standard, backed by the UK government as ideal for covering all the basics.

Protect your business from all the most common cyber threats and demonstrate your integrity to partners and investors with Cyber Essentials.

This UK government-backed scheme covers all the basics of good cyber security. Over 120 000 UK businesses have achieved it so far.

Getting certified as being compliant with this key standard is an ideal first step if you want to protect and grow your business, no matter what size you currently are.

What is Cyber Essentials?

The Cyber Essentials scheme has been in place since 2014. It’s designed to help UK organisations of every size understand what they need to do to protect themselves against all of the most common cyber threats that are out there.

Because make no mistake, these threats are very real. And they’re growing. Malware and ransomware. Phishing and email attacks. They cost businesses millions every year. Investors, those putting out major commercial tenders, and the UK government all recognise this.

That’s why standards like Cyber Essentials are so important. They can be thought of as a kind of checklist of key precautions every business should have in place in the modern world.

But what is Cyber Essentials certification exactly?

In short, it’s an easy way to indicate you’ve done the groundwork. You’ve formalised your cybersecurity setup. Starting with the Ministry of Defence in 2016 and increasingly across industries, organisations demand Cyber Essentials before they will do business with you.

This means that as a strong foundation for a business that is cyber secure and ready to grow, the Cyber Essentials scheme can’t be beaten.

The 5 Key Requirements of Cyber Essentials

Secure Configuration

The starting point of good cybersecurity is secure configurations that meet the needs of your business.

We go through all of the settings of your system, making sure your team can use everything they need as easily as possible. But also that there aren’t any unnecessary settings or functions that will introduce gaps in your security.

Our experts will also make sure your team is using strong passwords with no defaults left in place and that Two-Factor Authentication is in place around sensitive data.

Malware Protection

The aim herel is to restrict the execution of known malware and untrusted software, preventing it from causing damage or accessing data.

Two of the key malware protection strategies Cyber Essentials expects you to employ are whitelisting or sandboxing.

The former ensures that your team can only use applications approved by your network administrators. The latter means applications only have restricted access to the rest of your network.

We ensure your business is using the most suitable strategies for your needs and goals.

Firewalls

If you want to protect and grow your business, a firewall between your network and everything outside it is critical. Cyber Essentials insists on this.

Setting up boundary firewalls and internet gateways isn’t always straightforward though. Our experts make sure yours are configured correctly and in place on all devices. Especially those your team might use for remote working.

User Access Controls

Implementing user access controls means each of your team members can only access the software, files, and settings they need to do their job.

Putting in place this level of appropriate access helps prevent unauthorised access to your data.

Security Update Management

Patching and updates can be annoying, but keeping your software, devices, and Operating Systems up-to-date is critical to effective cybersecurity.

We make sure your network is comprehensively updated and you have good patch management processes in place.

How to Get Started with Dial A Geek

Start your journey towards effective cyber security compliance today.

In a world where cyber threats are an expensive and growing problem for organisations in every industry, the Cyber Essentials scheme gives small and medium businesses an approachable, cost-effective way to know they’re protected.

As an accredited Cyber Essentials certification body, Dial A Geek knows how to help you achieve that vital foundational cybersecurity certification.

Begin by booking a meeting with one of our experts today. We’ll use this opportunity to learn about your business’s unique needs and send you a specific proposal.

Once you’re signed up, we’ll begin onboarding your business onto our managed service. This project will include Cyber Essentials certification.

You can use cybersecurity compliance certification like this to attract new clients and reassure investors – and get peace of mind that your business’s sensitive data is safe.

Plus, if you want to partner with major organisations or bid on government contracts these days, Cyber Essentials certification is a requirement.

Dial A Geek makes your journey to certification simple. We do all of the work and provide all the training you need to take this vital step towards a secure, growing business.

Achieving Cyber Essentials Accreditation

As a sensible first step on your journey to cybersecurity compliance, the Cyber Essentials certification process is relatively straightforward in principle.

It is, essentially, a process of self-assessment that ensures you have all of the most vital controls in place. With these measures taken, your business will be proof against an estimated 80% or more of all cyber attacks.

The National Cyber Security Council (NCSC) – the organisation that supports Cyber Essentials – underlines just how important this can be. Because most cyber criminals look for the “low-hanging fruit” of businesses that don’t have these essential technical controls in place.

The basic process of how to get Cyber Essentials certification involves:

  1. Assessing your current cyber security set-up
  2. Reporting it to the NCSC and receiving feedback
  3. Acting on that feedback to fix any vulnerabilities

On the surface, this sounds simple. And it can be. As long as you have the expertise in place to understand the technical requirements and know how to plug those security gaps.

That’s where Dial A Geek comes in. With our experts’ in-depth knowledge of Cyber Essentials requirements, we do all of the work needed to make sure your assessment is successful without the need for rounds of feedback.

As we are a certified Cyber Essentials accreditation body, we can guide and support you through the process, take all the necessary actions, and certify you in-house.

Why Cyber Essentials Matters

Cyber security for businesses is no longer optional. The UK government reports that around 50% of companies have suffered some sort of cyber attack in the past 12 months. If you’re an SME or larger business, this number shoots up to over 70%.

The cost of a successful data breach is growing too. The average cost for a small business is over £1200. For a medium business, it’s £10 000. These are not negligible sums for most companies.

Yet the government also reports that most cyber attacks are “unsophisticated”. This means it doesn’t take much in the way of cyber “hygiene” to protect your business. Cyber Essentials’ importance lies in helping you know exactly what measures this should involve.

The scheme’s major advantage is its cost-effectiveness. Especially compared with the impact of a successful cyber attack. That is to say, the cost of not doing anything. But also when compared with other cybersecurity standards:

  • Cyber Essentials vs ISO27001 – the ISO is a much more extensive and comprehensive international standard that many UK businesses might not require.
  • Cyber Essentials vs Cyber Assurance – IASME Cyber Assurance is a higher standard more suited to organisations in sensitive industries.

Cyber Essentials is the choice for your business if you are looking for an accessible, cost-effective option that delivers a robust approach to cybersecurity suitable for most small and medium-sized businesses.

Dial A Geek’s Role in Your Cyber Essentials Journey

Cyber Essentials accreditation is included in all of our Protect & Grow packages. We do all of the work that is needed to ensure your business is ready to get cybersecurity certified.

Then, when we know you’re ready, we have the accreditation needed to certify you ourselves. The cost of your first year certification fee is included in your Protect & Grow package.

Every client we work with is different. But whatever your starting point, we make sure you end up meeting the required standards in all five of the key technical controls – firewalls, configurations, malware protection, patch management, and user access controls.

We’ve done the same thing for over 1000 satisfied clients in the past 17 years, working with organisations in even highly sensitive industries. Dial A Geek services are set up to help you achieve peace of mind no matter the current condition of your cybersecurity.

Talk to us today about Cyber Essentials training and certification and the role we play in helping you get the protection your business needs.

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