Cyber Essentials – Affordable Security


Guest blog from Centre for Assessment Ltd

The Cyber Essentials Scheme has been around for a number of years now, and more and more businesses are finding the demand for this is increasing when it comes to working with particular clients and qualifying for tenders/contracts. The core values of Cyber Essentials offers both clients and supply chains peace of mind, knowing that basic cyber hygiene measures are being adhered to, and the essential elements of the IT infrastructure are running effectively.

The core values of Cyber Essentials are built around 5 main controls: firewalls, secure configuration, access control, malware protection and patch management. The combination of these controls ensure that the risk of cyber-attacks is kept to a minimum, and that companies are showing a commitment to both staff and clients, ensuring data is handled and stored safely and securely.

There are two different levels of cover available through the scheme which are ‘Cyber Essentials’ and ‘Cyber Essentials Plus’.

Cyber Essentials is a self-assessment driven audit, which allows businesses interested in the scheme to be able to evidence their basic conformance to the scheme rules within an application document. Once completed this is then reviewed by a registered certification body for assessment. Decisions on conformance can be made within as little as 48 hours.

Cyber Essentials Plus includes all of the self-assessment elements of the basic Cyber Essentials. Additionally, it entails a vulnerability scan, on-site testing and a much more comprehensive assessment process verified by independent experts to help further ensure that the IT infrastructure is as secure as possible. This level of assessment represents a much larger commitment to the overall IT welfare of any business and helps in leading the war against cyber-crime within the UK.

These types of assessments are a step in the right direction for any business looking to bolster their IT security within any industry. Cyber Crime is forever evolving and adapting to try and appeal to victims via a range of different means. This can be something as simple as a link in an email or sending updates with ‘URGENT’ in the subject, to try and instil fear and panic usually leading to a knee jerk reaction, which can cost victims dearly.

The legal sector is no stranger to cyber-crime and its devastation, with 62% of law firms estimated to be the victim of a cyber-attack in the last year. Law firms are considered to be 7th most vulnerable industry for malware according to Cisco, with 4.5% of all UK data breaches occurring within the legal sector. Practices are starting to take note of the devastation this causes and are beginning to take steps towards a scheme like Cyber Essentials, to help in the fight against cyber-crime and to re-assure clients.

We are even starting to see schemes like Cyber Essentials incorporated into other standards within the legal sector. In July 2018, a new version of Lexcel, The Law Society’s Legal Practice Quality Mark, was announced, and within some of the policies and procedures there is a direct reference to the scheme stating, “Practices must have an information management and security policy and should be accredited against Cyber Essentials.” This is helping to further enforce the importance of the scheme and general cyber awareness within the legal sector.

Cyber Essentials is available through the Centre for Assessment. To visit their website

http://www.centreforassessment.co.uk/about-us/our-services/ethical-professional-standards/cyber-essentials/ 0161 237 4080 or enquries@centreforassessment.co.uk

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