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Celebrating 10 Years of Cyber Essentials: The Importance for Small Businesses

Posted 24th June 2024

Celebrating 10 Years of Cyber Essentials: The Importance for Small Businesses

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Cyber Essentials this year, we believed now was the perfect time to reflect on the programs impact and its importance for small businesses. Launched in 2014, Cyber Essentials is a government backed scheme that was designed to help businesses protect themselves against some of the most common cyber threats. Over the past decade, it has become a vital tool for small business who are striving to safeguard their digital assets. At LP Networks, we’ve seen firsthand the impact Cyber Essentials can make for a business. Here’s why it matters and why your small business should embrace it.

What is Cyber Essentials? 

Cyber Essentials is a certification scheme developed by the UK government and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). It was first created to provide businesses with a clear framework on how to protect against the most common cyber threats. The scheme outlines five key security controls that you should use that can prevent nearly 80% of cyberattacks. 

These controls are:

  • Firewalls and Internet Gateways
  • Secure Configuration
  • Access Control
  • Malware Protection
  • Patch Management

Since its inception, Cyber Essentials has made a substantial impact on businesses across the UK. According to the Gov website in June 2023*, over 132,000 Cyber Essential certificates have been certified, and many businesses have reported a decrease in successful cyberattacks. The scheme has also raised awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, encouraging businesses to take proactive steps in protecting their digital assets.

Yet, since Cyber Essentials began a decade ago, the cyber threat landscape has increasingly evolved. Cyberattacks have become more sophisticated, targeting businesses of all sizes. However smaller business in particular have become prime targets due to the fact they often have limited resources and less robust security measures. Cyber Essentials has played a crucial role in helping these businesses build a stronger foundation in protecting themselves from these attacks.

Why Cyber Essentials Matters for Small Businesses

Protecting Against Common Threats:

Cyber Essentials focuses on preventing the most common cyber threats, such as phishing, malware, and ransomware. By taking into consideration the five key controls the scheme puts forward, small businesses can significantly reduce their risk of losing against cyberattacks.

Building Customer Trust

As the certification is well known in the world of cyber security, achieving this demonstrates to customers and suppliers that your business takes cybersecurity seriously. It also helps to build trust and could even be a decisive factor when customers are choosing between you and a competitor. 

Meeting Regulatory Requirements

Businesses in the UK must ensure they comply with data protection and cybersecurity standards such as GDPR regulations. Using Cyber Essentials provides a simpler way to meet these requirements and provide you with the information you need which will help you to avoid potential fines and legal issues.

Enhancing Business Reputation

Unfortunately, a security breach can severely damage a business’s reputation, however having a Cyber Essentials certification will firstly help your company know the right tools to use to minimise your risk of having a breach as well as having the certificate shows that you are proactive about protecting sensitive information. 

Cost-Effective Security

Small businesses can sometimes have a more limited budget and so Cyber Essentials can offer a cost-effective way to implement essential cybersecurity measures. The initial investment in achieving the certification can also save significant costs if you have to deal with a cyber incident. 

Looking Ahead: The Future of Cyber Essentials

Thinking about the future, the importance of cybersecurity for small businesses will only continue to grow. Cyber Essentials will remain a crucial tool in helping businesses navigate the evolving threat landscape.

As we celebrate 10 years of Cyber Essentials, it’s clear that the scheme has made a significant difference for small businesses across the UK.  It has provided a clear framework to protect businesses against common cyber threats and has helped companies to build stronger security foundations enhance customer trust and meet regulatory requirements. At LP Networks, we believe that every small business should consider Cyber Essentials certification as a critical step in their cybersecurity journey, and with Lee Pepper, Managing Director being an IASME assessor, we’re in the perfect position to help you achieve this. 

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