Unlock the path to Cyber Essentials Plus Certification

cyber essentials plus

Organisations must ensure their defences are robust enough to withstand attacks and demonstrate these to their customers, supply chain and staff. This is where Cyber Essentials Plus certification comes in – a government-backed scheme that helps organisations bolster their security posture and protect against common cyber attacks.

In this post, we have included the benefits of obtaining this certification, the steps involved in the certification process, and how Cyphere can assist your organisation in achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

Key Points

  • Cyber Essentials Plus certification provides enhanced protection against cyber attacks and improved customer trust.

  • Organisations can achieve Cyber Essentials Plus certification with the help of a certified partner, such as Cyphere.

  • This is a useful addition to improve your security posture when combined with penetration testing.

  • With its cost-effective and time-saving solutions, Cyphere offers tailored cybersecurity solutions for organisations to strengthen their security posture.

Understanding Cyber Essentials Plus

As cyber threats evolve, organisations must implement enhanced security controls and protection measures to safeguard their IT infrastructure. The Cyber Essentials Plus certification is a UK Government-endorsed standard that addresses this need and ensures that businesses have the necessary technical controls to protect against cyber attacks. The main difference between Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications lies in the level of assessment and assurance they offer. While Cyber Essentials is a self-assessment certification, Cyber Essentials Plus involves a more rigorous evaluation by an external assessor, ensuring that the organisation’s defences can defend against a broad range of common cyber attacks and provide a higher level of assurance.

A significant aspect of the Cyber Essentials Plus certification is its emphasis on the Five Basic Security Controls, which are fundamental for achieving certification. These controls cover essential aspects of cybersecurity, such as:

  • Firewalls

  • Secure configuration

  • User access control

  • Malware protection

  • Patch management

By implementing these cyber security measures, organisations can significantly reduce their vulnerability to common cyber threats and enhance their overall security posture.

The Five Basic Security Controls

The Five Basic Security Controls, integral for achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification, are intended to establish a strong base for protection against prevalent threats and vulnerabilities. These controls include:

cyber essentials plus

  1. Utilising a firewall to secure your internet connection

  2. Implementing secure settings for your devices and software

  3. Regulating who has access to your data and services to thwart privilege escalations

  4. Installing malware protection to protect endpoints

  5. Observing patch management to ensure it is timely against high-risk issues

Organisations can bolster their security posture and resilience to potential attacks by prioritising and focusing on these key actions.

Enhanced Protection Against Cyber Attacks

Going beyond the self-assessment option of Cyber Essentials, Cyber Essentials Plus certification provides a more rigorous third-party evaluation of an organisation’s systems. This audit process helps verify that the organisation’s defences can defend against a broad range of common cyber attacks, reducing the cyber attack attraction. Cyber Essentials Plus offers a higher level of assurance and peace of mind that the organisation’s information is secure against potential threats.

The Cyber Essentials Plus certification, part of the Cyber Essentials scheme, encompasses a hands-on technical assessment and an independent verification by the Certification Body, guaranteeing robust cyber protection. This comprehensive evaluation ensures that your organisation’s defences are effective and compliant with the Cyber Essentials Plus criteria, giving you the confidence to safeguard your business against cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Becoming Cyber Essentials certified demonstrates your commitment to cybersecurity best practices.

The Certification Process for Cyber Essentials Plus

Obtaining Cyber Essentials Plus certification involves several steps, including:

  1. Purchasing the chosen certification level and agreeing on the scope of the assessment

  2. Completing the Cyber Essentials self-assessment questionnaire, which is the first step to the Cyber Essentials Plus certification path

  3. Cyphere, an IASME-accredited certification body, performs the evaluation and awards the Cyber Essentials certificate.

  4. Your basic Cyber Essentials certification scope is considered the basis for CE+

  5. Cyphere as your certification body schedules technical audit that includes vulnerability scanning and endpoint assessments.

  6. The results are checked to determine whether these meet the requirements and criteria set by the certification body.

  7. Finally, Cyber Essentials Plus Certification is issued that is valid for one year.

Organisations of any size can apply for Cyber Essentials Plus certification, making it a versatile and valuable certification for businesses across various industries.

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Cyber Essentials Plus Certification

  • Protect sensitive data, protect your business
  • Improve eligibility for new opportunities across regulated industries and public sector.

Certification Bodies are indispensable in achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification as they assess an organisation at the Cyber Essentials Plus level and provide consultation to aid certification attainment. Further, as a CREST-approved penetration testing company, we combine the two, offering a cost-effective solution to businesses.

Cyber Essentials Plus certification costs will vary depending on the size and complexity of the organisation’s network. We have various offers around the certifications where customers undergo annual security audits and pen testing assessments through us.

This investment in certification can offer numerous benefits, including enhanced security protocols, increased customer confidence, and eligibility for government contracts.

Working with a Cyber Essentials Partner

Collaborating with a certified Cyber Essentials provider, such as Cyphere, can extend manifold benefits to organisations looking to achieve CE+ certification. A Cyber Essentials partner assists organisations in achieving certification by:

  • Providing guidance and support throughout the process

  • Helping organisations complete the necessary assessments due to our security consulting background

  • Meeting the requirements for certification

  • Offering real support where you need to improve your security posture along with certification

  • We offer additional services such as readiness toolkits and technical audits to ensure the organisation meets security controls.

Cyphere, an IASME certification body, is accredited to award Cyber Essentials Plus certification upon successfully completing the CE+ audit. With its diverse industry experience and CREST accreditation, Cyphere demonstrates its cybersecurity expertise and credibility, supporting Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

On-site or Remote Assessment and Verification

Depending on an organisation’s preferences and needs, the Cyber Essentials Plus certification’s assessment and verification process is mostly carried out remotely. However, this can be done onsite or remotely.

Remote assessment allows organisations to gain cyber security certification without requiring a physical on-site visit and the relevant logistics and resources needed for a consultant visit. Remote assessments can be carried out through various methods, such as using VPN, remote assistance connectivity or using our virtual image/physical device shipped to your premises. This option allows companies to save time and resources while still ensuring that their defences meet the stringent requirements of Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

The on-site assessment involves a qualified assessor visiting the organisation’s premises, conducting a technical assessment, and verifying the implementation of the required controls. However, with cost-effective options available remotely, this is less and less in demand and more time-efficient to conduct assessments remotely. This comprehensive evaluation provides additional assurance about the effectiveness of the controls in place to protect against common cyber threats.

Advantages of Achieving Cyber Essentials Plus Certification

Organisations can reap numerous key benefits from achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification. These benefits include:

  • Enhanced security protocols

  • Increased customer confidence

  • Eligibility for government contracts

  • Inclusion on a reliable register of suppliers

  • Improved defence against the majority of the most common cyber attacks

By investing in Cyber Essentials Plus certification, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity best practices and strengthen their security posture.

Additionally, obtaining Cyber Essentials Plus certification can positively impact customer trust, market reputation, and access to public sector and regulated industries. This certification is often a requirement for government contract tenders, granting organisations an advantage in bidding for public sector contracts and expanding their business opportunities.

Improving Your Organisation’s Cyber Security Maturity

Achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification demonstrates an organisation’s heightened level of cybersecurity maturity. This certification involves an extensive assessment and provides a framework for protection against cyber threats. It assures organisations that their defences are sufficient to protect against common cyber attacks and ensures they have a higher degree of cyber resilience and can successfully manage sensitive data.

Increased Cyber Security Maturity offers numerous advantages, such as:

  • Comparing your security posture with industry standards

  • Staying abreast of current security trends

  • Assessing your organisation’s cyber preparedness

  • Streamlining IT systems

  • Focusing on risk management

  • Conducting external attack surface assessments

By obtaining Cyber Essentials Plus certification, organisations can build a solid foundation for cybersecurity and enhance their overall security posture. The National Cyber Security Centre recommends this certification as a crucial step in securing your organisation’s digital assets.

Improved customer trust and market reputation

Cyber Essentials Plus certification is beneficial for customer trust and market reputation. It displays your dedication to cybersecurity and illustrates that you are taking the essential steps to secure customer data. Being certified boosts credibility and instils confidence in customers that you are a reputable business. It also increases your market reputation by positioning you as a secure and reliable organisation.

Moreover, Cyber Essentials Plus certification can provide advantages for suppliers, as it indicates that your organisation has implemented effective cybersecurity measures. This assures suppliers that security is taken seriously and that sensitive information will be safeguarded. Furthermore, some government contracts necessitate Cyber Essentials certification; thus, having this certification can open up more business prospects.

Access to Public Sector and Regulated industries

Attaining Cyber Essentials Plus certification offers access to public sector and regulated industries the assurance that your organisation has implemented effective cybersecurity measures. This certification conveys a higher level of security than the Cyber Essentials certification, a government-backed scheme to protect against common online threats. It provides potential clients and customers in the public sector and regulated industries with the confidence that your organisation has taken steps to protect against cyber attacks.

Moreover, Cyber Essentials Plus certification offers several benefits, including:

  • Meeting the requirement for government contract tenders, giving you an advantage in bidding for public sector contracts

  • Demonstrating your commitment to cybersecurity best practices

  • Expanding your business opportunities

  • Strengthening your security posture

By investing in this certification, organisations can reap these advantages and more.

Be on a trusted suppliers list

Inclusion on a trusted suppliers list signifies that companies with Cyber Essentials Plus certification have fulfilled the security controls and standards to be deemed reliable and trustworthy by prospective clients or partners. It gives them an edge in securing new business and instils confidence in customers that they are taking proactive steps to protect their IT systems from cyber threats.

Acquiring Cyber Essentials Plus certification offers several benefits for organisations, including:

  • Bolstering credibility as a trusted supplier

  • Showcasing dedication to cybersecurity best practices

  • Improving supply chain management

  • Implementing a more robust vendor selection process

  • Enhancing confidence in supplier reliability

  • Reinforcing cybersecurity measures

Strengthening Supply Chain Security

Cyber Essentials Plus certification offers several benefits:

  • Bolsters supply chain security by assuring that your organisation’s defences can effectively guard against common cyber attacks

  • Fosters trust with customers and indicates to your supply chain and stakeholders that you prioritise security

  • It may be a prerequisite for bidding on government contracts

  • Allows your organisation to be on a trusted register of suppliers

By implementing the security controls required for Cyber Essentials Plus certification, organisations can mitigate a range of supply chain security breaches, including supply chain cyber attacks, breaches in supplier systems, and attacks targeting the supply chain. This certification provides a foundation for safeguarding against common threats and vulnerabilities, helping to secure your organisation’s supply chain and protect sensitive data.

Cyphere’s Role in Supporting Cyber Essentials Plus Certification

As an IASME-accredited certification body for Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus, Cyphere provides services supporting organisations in their certification pursuit. Their services include:

cyber essentials plus

  • Guidance and assistance in implementing the necessary controls and security measures

  • Pre-assessment audits to identify any gaps or areas for improvement

  • Helping you beyond the certificates, strategic partnerships around risk and security advisory, executive training and awareness programs for employees

  • CREST approved penetration testing services to support your security roadmap and objectives

  • IT Security health checks to help you align your IT investments

  • Secure architecture, design and SDLC reviews

  • Stakeholder debriefs to help you establish cyber security business cases

  • Risk remediation support

  • Ongoing support and maintenance to ensure continued compliance

With its diverse industry experience and CREST accreditation, Cyphere demonstrates its cybersecurity expertise and credibility, ensuring that your organisation receives the support it needs to achieve Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

In addition to their certification services, Cyphere offers a range of cybersecurity solutions, including penetration testing and vulnerability assessments, to help organisations bolster their security posture and protect against cyber threats. By partnering with Cyphere, organisations can benefit from their comprehensive services, industry expertise, and commitment to cybersecurity best practices.

Cost-effective and Time-saving Solutions

Cyphere provides affordable and efficient solutions for achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification, ensuring organisations can get certified without incurring high costs or lengthy delays. This includes:

  • Consultancy services are offered at a daily rate

  • The ability to upgrade from basic Cyber Essentials certification

  • In some instances, Cyber Essentials Plus is provided at no cost for customers who undergo annual penetration testing or IT security health checks.

By aligning annual health checks with CE+ controls, Cyphere ensures a cost-effective and time-efficient certification process for organisations. This alignment guarantees that your organisation’s security measures are by the Cyber Essentials Plus certification requirements while streamlining the process and reducing the time and resources required.

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Penetration Testing and CE+ – Two-in-one offer

Cyphere’s combined offer of penetration testing and Cyber Essentials Plus certification provides organisations with a streamlined approach to improve their cybersecurity stance and demonstrate their adherence to cybersecurity best practices. By combining both services, organisations can benefit from a more cost-effective and time-efficient approach to achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification and following a proactive security approach.

At Cyphere, we strongly believe in ensuring customers do the groundwork to improve their security posture. This acts as a catalyst to providing safer and more secure environments, including easy passes for security compliance requirements. When this is done the other way around (just security compliance-based exercise), the security gaps could haunt an organisation in the longer term.

The comprehensive service offered by Cyphere includes:

  • Consultant-led and assisted penetration testing

  • Ensuring that your business meets the requirements for Cyber Essentials certification

  • Addressing any potential vulnerabilities in your IT systems

By partnering with Cyphere, organisations can benefit from their expertise, industry experience, and commitment to cybersecurity best practices, ensuring a smooth and successful certification process.

Diverse Industry Experience

Cyphere boasts a wealth of experience across a variety of industries, encompassing sectors such as:

  • Financial Services

  • Healthcare

  • Retail, eCommerce, Fashion and Apparel

  • Professional Services

  • Technology, including IT services and consulting, software houses and startups

  • Private equity firms

Their diverse industry experience enables them to tailor their cybersecurity solutions and certification services to each sector’s unique needs and requirements. By working with Cyphere, organisations can benefit from their knowledge and expertise, ensuring that their cybersecurity measures are effective and compliant with industry standards.

Their experience across various industries allows Cyphere to provide a comprehensive approach to achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification and addressing the unique cybersecurity challenges different sectors face. By partnering with Cyphere, organisations can leverage their industry expertise and commitment to cybersecurity best practices, ensuring a successful certification process and enhanced security posture.

Summary

In conclusion, Cyber Essentials Plus certification provides organisations with a robust foundation for cybersecurity, offering numerous benefits such as enhanced security protocols, increased customer confidence, and access to public sector contracts. By partnering with a trusted Cyber Essentials provider like Cyphere, organisations can receive the support and guidance they need to achieve certification, bolster their cybersecurity defences, and demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity best practices. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever for organisations to invest in their cybersecurity posture and safeguard their IT systems from cyber threats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cyber Essentials Plus worth it?

Cyber Essentials Plus is a valuable certification as it helps protect your business from cyber threats and can also attract new clients and facilitate growth. Based on the Gov.uk website, with only 6% of UK businesses holding the Cyber Essentials certification and only 1% having the Plus certification, it could provide a competitive edge.

What is the difference between Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus?

Cyber Essentials offers basic security measures, while Cyber Essentials Plus provides a more thorough level of security assurance.

What are the requirements for Cyber Essentials Plus?

Cyber Essentials Plus certification requires an additional technical audit, which includes on-site internal vulnerability scans, tests of in-scope systems and an off-site external vulnerability scan conducted by the certification body.

What does Cyber Essentials Plus include?

Cyber Essentials Plus includes an additional technical audit with on-site internal vulnerability scans, tests of in-scope systems and an off-site external vulnerability scan.

What are the Five Basic Security Controls required for Cyber Essentials Plus certification?

The Five Basic Security Controls required for Cyber Essentials Plus certification are a firewall to secure your internet connection, secure settings for devices and software, access regulation, malware protection, and patch management.

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