Cyber Essentials

The self-assessment alternative provides you with the knowledge you need to know when protecting yourself against a wide variety of the most typical cyber-attacks. This is essential because vulnerability to simple attacks can label you as a target and lead to more in-depth undesired attention from cybercriminals.

This Certification will assure you that your security will protect you against the most common cyber-attacks because these attacks scan for targets that do not have the Cyber Essentials technical controls implemented within their infrastructure.

Cyber Essentials teaches you how to recognise those basics and prevent the most common attacks, such as:

  • Use a firewall to secure your internet connection
  • Choose the most secure settings for your devices and software
  • Control who has access to your data and services
  • Protect yourself from other viruses and malwares
  • Keep your devices and software up to date

How to Prepare and Pass Cyber Essentials

Create an Information Security Policy

Your first step should be to create a well-structured information security policy for your company. The policy should incorporate the key elements and rules for cybersecurity. To do this successfully, your policy should include the following:

  • Your security policy does not require a complex document filled with technical details. Instead, it should document rules for cybersecurity as straightforward as possible so that all your employees and other third parties with access to your systems or data can easily understand it.
  • A password policy that defines the minimum obligations for passwords (such as length and complexity).
  • A collection of guidelines outlining what users can and cannot do, including admittance controls and internet usage.
  • It should contain critical elements for managing and preparing the personal data of customers, employees, and third parties.

Assign a Data Protection Officer

Selecting a single senior employee as a Data Protection Officer (DPO) can assist you in enforcing the information security policy within your company. This can be important as they can organise all the business security initiatives. For outside parties and IT users, they are the business’ single point of communication for queries and concerns related to security.

To pass Cyber essentials and receive the certification, it will require you to finish and present a self-assessment questionnaire, providing suitable proof to support your answers. With that being said, having a singular DPO ensures that everybody understands who is responsible for completing the questionnaire and who to go-to for the best advice and guidance.

Keep Track of your Digital Assets

Keeping an inventory of digital assets will ensure that all your software and devices have solid security for protection; this should include all the details of the updates and versions of the software and devices being used.

Knowing what your assets are and what devices have access to your network is a good practice. This will help you keep software updated and is also the best way to identify unauthorised devices to be quickly removed if needed and enables you to classify vulnerabilities within your network.

Enforce Access Control

Access control guarantees that only authorised employees can access sensitive information, and implementing robust access control is required for achieving Cyber Essentials certification.

In addition, please use a Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) system to secure IT users who only have the privileges that they require for their job position and access to only those systems they need to be productive and operate safely.

Make Use of the Right Tools and Configurations

Make sure to use and implement Firewalls into your systems to protect the device from external threats such as those found when surfing the internet. On the other hand, employ antivirus software to protect your systems from viruses and malware that can potentially harm them through data corruption, as an example. Both of these will help your business prevent the most common types of cyber attacks.

Conduct Regular Security Reviews

To ensure that your digital assets remain secure and protected, it is essential to keep documentation to track and review the effectiveness of the cybersecurity measures you have exercised.

Having the knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation’s network can assist you to keep changing your cybersecurity settings for better protection, especially as you grow. It would be best if you administered a regular security review to:

  • To track all devices and software connected to your network, including when they were last updated and their details.
  • Know the types of devices being used throughout your organisation (e.g. laptops, desktops, servers etc.).
  • Discover the effectiveness of your information security policy.
  • Assure that all software and devices are accurately configured for secure operations.

What Areas will Cyber Essentials Cover

The areas that cyber essentials will cover are:

  • Boundary Firewalls
  • Secure Configuration
  • Access Control
  • Patch Management
  • Password-Based authentication
  • Anti-Malware Software
  • Whitelisting
  • Sandboxing

To Conclude

In conclusion, if you are a small to medium scale business preparing and implementing cybersecurity within your network. Achieving a Cyber Essentials certification is an excellent way to start, and for a small investment of time and effort, it can significantly decrease your vulnerabilities to cyber threats. Follow the step by step plan above, and you will be ensured to pass Cyber Essentials and have a successful start within the industry.

If you have any inquiries regarding Cyber Essentials or protecting your company systems and data, please reach out to us. We love to talk about Cyber Essentials and help companies with their data protection needs and innovative certification.