The Pros & Cons of Cyber Essentials Accreditation

With cyber attacks becoming an increasing blight on society, with more being reported on in the news, understanding what options you have when it comes to cyber security is important.

Cyber Essentials is a Government backed accreditation scheme, that protects your organisation, whatever its size against a range of the most common cyber attacks.

With cyber attacks becoming an increasing blight on society, with more being reported on in the news, understanding what options you have when it comes to cyber security is important.

Why should my organisation apply for Cyber Essentials Accreditation?

There are many positives that your business can benefit from as a result of being Cyber Essentials Accredited.

These include:

  • Demonstrating your cyber security aware – having a Cyber Essentials accreditation badge on your website shows that your organisation takes cyber security seriously and have data security as one of your top priorities
  • Being legally required to protect data - the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that all businesses secure third party data whether they are current clients or not. Cyber Essentials is nationally recognised so people can feel safe in the knowledge that their data is secure with you
  • Peace of mind - from an internal perspective, employees can feel at ease, knowing that you are taking good care of their data. Having a positive cyber culture, means employees are more likely to be proactive if you face a cyber attack. From a third party perspective, having the reassurance that you’re protected and not the vulnerability in a chain is a great benefit of having Cyber Essentials accreditations
  • Government contracts – if you’re vying for a Government contract, you won’t even get a foot in the door if you don’t have Cyber Essentials Accreditation. The Ministry of Defence, require contractors to have Cyber Essentials as a pre-requisite. To ensure tenders have this accreditation, the MoD carry out a risk assessment on every tender they receive. It’s not just the Ministry of Defence who are doing this. Local Authorities also require tenders to have Cyber Essentials Accreditation.
  • Growing your business – having Cyber Essentials accreditation can help you grow as a business, purely because it gives you a unique selling point compared to your competitors and demonstrate to potential customers that they can trust you to keep their information safe
  • Saving you money – it may seem a little odd, but by spending money on cyber security it can help you save money in the long run. Some Insurers ask for cyber security accreditations, having these can help to lower your premiums

However, there are a few negatives that could arise, and which you may think of when you’re analysing whether to implement Cyber Essentials. These include:

  • Upfront cost – if you’re a small business, you may find the upfront cost of Cyber Essentials to be costly. However, if you consider how important it is, for the growth of your business, you could incorporate the cost into your strategy for growth. It may be worth thinking about how much a cyber attack could cost your business, taking into account financial and reputational damage
  • Lack of IT infrastructure – if you work for yourself, you may not feel that Cyber Essentials is for you. However, this shouldn’t matter. It’s vital to protect your data and any other data you have. Plus looking forward, if you plan on expanding your team in the future, having Cyber Essentials in place will help mitigate any risk
  • Time – Consider how much the implementation of Cyber Essentials will cost you in time. Communicate to your staff and clients about any outages you’ll expect and explain the reasoning.

Overall, Cyber Essentials accreditations can bring fantastic benefits to your organisation. In this ever evolving cyber sphere, is it worth the risk not having an accreditation of some description?