The Cyber Essentials scheme is backed by the government to help companies protect themselves against cyber threats. Cyber Essentials (CE) helps organisations guard against the most common cyber threats by implementing cyber security best practices.
“1 in 6 UK small and mid-sized enterprises fell victim to a cyber attack in the last 12-month duration. Of the enterprises affected, more than one-fifth stated that it cost the company more than £10,000, and 1 in 10 mentioned that it cost more than £50,000.” – Zurich SME Risk Index
Here are five clear benefits of Cyber Essentials:
Protection against cyber threats
According to a report by NIG, almost 80% of data breaches can be prevented by implementing CE which are simple security practices. Daily, hackers are trying to steal data, money or cause severe disruption to SMEs and mid-market companies. Following the CEscheme is the best way for businesses to approach cyber threats. The Cyber Essentials scheme includes highly effective precautions such as using stronger passwords, updating software regularly, limiting access to sensitive information, background checks of employees, among others.
Improves existing and potential customers’ trust
Per a report by KPMG, almost 60% of UK consumers would be willing to stop doing business with a breached enterprise. Enterprises rigorously following the CE scheme have a competitive advantage in comparison to competitors without accreditation. Cyber Essentials certified enterprises show its commitment to security, demonstrating to customers, investors, suppliers, and regulators that it takes cyber security very seriously. CE accreditation becomes even more critical for enterprises using and storing personal data like medical records, financial information and other sensitive data to build trust.
Cyber Essentials an essential step towards preparation for GDPR
GDPR is the new data privacy regulation which aims to give protection and control to the EU populace over personal data. Typically, the law will affect how businesses can collect and use personal data. By so doing, companies will be required to be more transparent when it comes to collecting and utilising data from customers. CE is a significant first step in preparation for GDPR as violators will have to pay a potential fine of up to €20 million or up to 4% of a company’s annual turnover.
Improves business efficiency
Without a coherent and consistent plan, a great extent of time, money and resources are spent on patching IT infrastructure and security as and when they arise. There is an inevitable loss in staff time during the restoration of services, particularly for IT staff. Implementing Cyber Security Essentials will allow both technical and non-technical staff to remain as productive and efficient as possible by focusing on core business without the need to fix bits and pieces of the company’s IT infrastructure.
Better chance of winning government contracts
The government is using the Cyber Essentials scheme as a step towards reducing the levels of cyber security risk in its supply chain. Since October 2014, the UK Government requires all enterprises bidding for contracts which require handling of sensitive and personal data or the provision of technical products and services to be CE certified.