Like most SMEs, cyber security is probably on your list of things to do – but like a lot of SMEs you might not know where to start. Well, luckily for you the Government-backed cyber essentials scheme is just about the best basic cyber security programme around. It’ll help you get the basics in place and set up you nicely while you scale – at which point you’ll probably want to revisit your security setup.

So what can you expect?

Getting the basics right

As we’ve mentioned Cyber Essentials will help you get some basics in place. It is by no means the most robust protocol – but the 35 tests your security has to pass to be awarded the Cyber Essentials Certification will give your business good cover. That’s because most of today’s attacks come from low-level cyber criminals that aren’t especially sophisticated. They target weak businesses that don’t do security well, if at all.

Setting the tone

Your people are one of your biggest security liabilities – and that’s not because they’re incompetent or incapable. Often, it’s because they’re simply unaware of what to look for, how attacks start, or where threats come from. However, by going through Cyber Essentials you’ll create a culture of awareness in the organisation of what good cyber security hygiene looks like – and that is worth its weight in gold. It manifests in small ways like speaking to the accounts department at a new client to check invoice details are real and not fraudulent (this happens a lot!) or using MFA on all portable devices.

Independent testing

Because Cyber Essential is a Government scheme it doesn’t have an affiliation with any particular organisation – which means that you are going to get 100%, bona fide, and unbiased feedback on the quality of your cyber security. This is really useful if you work with an MSP because it means you can have the service they provide you independently assessed. That, we would add, isn’t a stick with which to beat them (we never recommend that!), but a means by which you can establish what needs improving – which helps your MSP and you. It also gives you peace of mind and reassurance that you’re IT is in good hands (or not!).

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