Cyber Essentials and their importance to business IT management
In the hunt for any good IT support company, there is one thing you need to look out for: A Cyber Essentials badge. When it comes to IT management, using a company that has a Cyber Essentials badge is the best way to be sure your IT is being managed effectively and within the law. But to understand why you first need to know what exactly Cyber Essentials is.
Protection against security threats
In summer 2014, the UK government launched a scheme to help all organisations protect themselves against online security threats. These threats mainly come from phishing and hacking. This is known as the Cyber Essentials Scheme, and it consists of a set of basic technical controls and knowledge to help businesses stay safe. The scheme focuses on boundary firewalls and internet gateways, secure configuration, access control, malware protection, and security software patch management as protective controls on the internet. These controls help companies to look after their own and their client's sensitive data. Since October 2014, the Government requires all businesses bidding for contracts to handle sensitive or personal information to have a Cyber Essentials certification.
So we know that Cyber Essentials (CE) is a government-backed certification scheme to help businesses stay safe online. Now let’s talk about why this is even worth talking about. When an IT support company is CE certified, you immediately know two things. Firstly, that the business is knowledgeable. Not only are they aware of any legal requirements to have a CE badge, but they have all the knowledge that comes from obtaining the badge too. This includes the necessary precautions that must be taken when handling sensitive data and having an online presence. Secondly, that your data will be safer with their business as the CE badge shows they are complying with all the precautions necessary to stay safe online.
This isn’t exactly the most revelational news. After all, if an IT support company can’t stay safe online then who can? But, having the Cyber Essentials badge is more revealing about the IT company’s organisational skills, trustworthiness, transparency, and reliability. It is these qualities that help business managers pick the best IT support company out of a crowd.
What to look for
It should be noted that there are two levels of Cyber Essentials. There is a basic self-assessment scheme, where you work off a checklist. Ensuring your business is compliant. Cyber Essentials Plus takes it to the next level. It involves an onsite technical audit conducted by an external body. It also uses an internal and external vulnerability test to see how safe a business is against online threats. So if you see this badge online, know that that company is doing what they should to keep their own, and your sensitive data safe.
You can view our Cyber Essentials credentials here. We like to make sure we are up-to-date with the latest and most essential certifications. You can rest assured that we can keep ourselves and our clients safe online. For more information on how we keep data out of the hands of online criminals, call us today on 01204 860050