INSIGHT: How do I get Cyber Essentials certified and what are the benefits

INSIGHT: How do I get Cyber Essentials certified and what are the benefits

Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed certification that helps businesses protect themselves against cyber threats. It is designed to ensure companies have implemented basic cybersecurity measures to protect themselves against common online threats. In this blog post, we will discuss the process of getting Cyber Essentials certified and the benefits that it can bring to your business.

First Step

The first step in getting Cyber Essentials certified is to work with your chosen Cyber Essentials Scheme Operator (CESO) to work through a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ). The SAQ consists of five technical controls that are essential to protecting your business against cyber threats:

  • Boundary firewalls and internet gateways: These are devices that protect your network from unauthorised access by filtering incoming and outgoing traffic.
  • Secure configuration: Ensuring that your systems and software are correctly configured reduces the risk of security vulnerabilities.
  • Access control: Implement measures to ensure that only authorised users can access your systems and data.
  • Malware protection: Using software to protect your systems from malware, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans.
  • Patch management: Ensuring your systems and software are up-to-date with the latest security patches.

To complete the SAQ, you must provide detailed information about your systems, including hardware and software specifications, network configuration, and security measures. You will also be asked to provide documentation, such as policies and procedures, to demonstrate that you have implemented the necessary controls.

Once you have completed the SAQ, you will share this with your CESO for review, who will assess your SAQ to ensure that you have implemented the necessary controls and are in compliance with the Cyber Essentials standard.

If you pass the assessment, you will receive a compliance certificate, valid for one year. To maintain your certification, you must complete the SAQ annually and demonstrate that you have continued implementing the necessary controls.

There are several benefits to getting Cyber Essentials certified. Firstly, it can help protect your business against common cyber threats. Implementing the necessary controls can reduce the risk of data breaches, malware infections, and other security incidents.

Second Step

Secondly, Cyber Essentials certification can improve your reputation with customers, partners, and suppliers. You can build trust and confidence in your business by demonstrating your commitment to cybersecurity.
Cyber Essentials certification will also help you meet regulatory and compliance requirements. Many organisations must implement essential cybersecurity measures as part of their regulatory obligations, including working with some public service sectors.

Cyber Essentials certification can help mitigate risk and save time and money. By implementing the necessary controls, you can reduce the risk of security incidents, which can be costly to resolve. In addition, the certification process can help you to identify any weaknesses in your cybersecurity posture and implement improvements to address these issues.

In conclusion, getting Cyber Essentials certified can help your business protect against common cyber threats, improve its reputation, and meet regulatory and compliance requirements. Therefore, if you are considering getting Cyber Essentials certified, we recommend contacting your chosen CESO and taking the critical step towards improving your cybersecurity posture and protecting your business from cyber threats.


What is Cyber Essentials?

  • A set of critical technical controls to help organisations protect against common online security threats
  • UK Government Scheme
  • Enables organisations to gain one of two Cyber Essentials badges: Basic or Plus
  • Suitable for all organisations, of any size, in any sector
  • Self-assessment gives protection against a wide variety of the most common cyber attacks
  • Vulnerability to basic attacks can mark out a target for more in-depth unwanted attention from cyber criminals and others
  • Certification gives peace of mind that your defences will protect against the vast majority of common cyber attacks

Benefits of Cyber Essentials:

  • Attackers will look for targets which do not have the Cyber Essentials technical controls in place
  • Cyber Essentials shows clients how to address those basics and prevent the most common attacks
  • Based on five technical controls:
    1. Firewalls
    2. Secure configuration
    3. User access control
    4. Malware protection
    5. Security update management
  • Reassures customers that there is a focus on security and privacy
  • Attracts new business through evidence of strong security standards
  • Reduces risk against 80% of well-known cyber threats
  • Reduces the risk of reputational damage
  • Cyber Essentials comes with £25,000 of cyber liability insurance (if turnover <£20m)