What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a UK government scheme that helps organisations protect themselves against cyber- attack. Many Riverbank clients are working towards Cyber Essentials certification because it demonstrates their commitment to IT security. They recognise that they need to protect their organisation and their staff from cyber threats.

Here are 5 reasons why you should be Cyber Essentials compliant

1) Assurance

Giving you and your clients peace of mind when it comes to cyber security. As a government backed scheme Cyber Essentials let’s your customers and prospects know your company takes cyber security seriously and have the procedures and systems in place to protect personal data.

2) Requirement for business –comply with GDPR regulations

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on the 25th May 2018, Almost every business uses IT systems to electronically collect, store and use data from prospects and customers. If your business uses these methods then GDPR will affect you.

It is the responsibility of every company to protect sensitive data of EU citizens and prevent loss or theft. Cyber Essentials is a good step to take to prepare for these changes.

3) Help make the UK a safe place to do business

Cyber Essentials helps to keep the UK a safe and secure place to conduct business by preventing cyber-crime. It does this by completing a gap analysis on the tools and setup of your IT and the policies in place. Once these gaps are identified and closed out then the Cyber Essentials award is made. You can use the Cyber Essentials logo on your website, business cards etc, to promote your business.

4) Cyber Essentials enables you to bid for government contracts

To improve cyber security in its supply chain, the government has ordered that suppliers must be compliant with the Cyber Essentials scheme to bid for contracts which involve the handling of sensitive information and the provision of certain technical services. This defends the integrity of government information and could give your company a competitive advantage when bidding for public sector tenders.

5) Breaches are painful and expensive

Cyber-crime is well organised and these criminals don’t just target large businesses, it’s a numbers game and there are far more smaller business to target than large ones. The commercial model for ransomware is to infect widely and charge an affordable amount – it’s a business (although an illegal one)! To combat this, businesses need to have the correct tools in place, the policies and staff awareness.

A security breach can be very costly and hugely disruptive to a business, most business cannot run effectively without their IT systems for even a small amount of time.  Then there is a reputational damage and GDPR reporting obligations. Prevention is better than cure and whilst nothing is 100% safe, Cyber Essentials ensures you have followed industry best practice and put your business in the best place to prevent a security breach.

To find out more about Cyber Essentials, speak to a specialist at Riverbank. Call us now on 01235 426700 or e-mail cyberessentials@riverbank.co.uk.