Cyber Essentials Certification

Cyber Essentials Logo

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a government backed certification scheme that helps a business, no matter what its size, to protect itself from the most common types of cyber attacks

 

Why is Cyber Security important to Vertis Accounting?

As a digital accounting practice we hold all our records “in the cloud”.  We do not hold paper records and in fact do not own a filing cabinet!  Our digital records contain a considerable amounts of sensitive client data.  It is imperative that this is scrupulously and effectively protected.

We have always gone to great lengths to protect this data and have implemented a range of different measures including, but not limited to, expertly supported systems with malware and virus prevention, use of complex passwords, multi-factor authentication and a considered choice of hardware and software suppliers.   But it is important to be ever vigilant and to test our control measures to ensure that they remain appropriate and effective.

We are very proud to have achieved the standard required for full certification to the Cyber Essentials scheme.

 

Why should you consider Cyber Essentials Certification?

  • Peace of mind from the confidence gained about your business cyber security defences
  • Reassure your customers and clients that you take IT security seriously and have this independently assessed
  • Distinguish yourselves from your competitors and attract new business
  • Be eligible to bid for government contracts which require Cyber Essentials certification as a basic qualification criteria

 

So what is Involved?

In simple terms the requirement is to complete a lengthy questionnaire and for this to be assessed IASME, an independent organisation.   This doesn’t sound too hard until you really get into it.  The questions are searching and thorough and cover many different areas.   To name a few …. hardware inventory, operating systems, software in use, update procedures, password controls, multi-factor authentication, network routers and controls, staff procedures and so on.

Whilst we are pretty IT savvy we recognised our limitations and knew that we needed some expert help and assistance with the completion of the questionnaire.  It is rather like driving a car – do you need to know the ins and outs of the internal combustion engine and gearbox to be able to drive safely from a to b?

  • We receive, on a day to day basis, an excellent IT support service from Lucid Computer Solutions and they were of course very helpful in answering the detailed technical questions about the aspects of the systems that they set up and maintain
  • We were also expertly steered through the application process by the team at Borwell who are software and cyber experts operating in the Science Park in Malvern.

 

We were also fortunate and highly appreciative of grant funding support from Worcestershire County Council for the consultancy service delivered by Borwell.   Worcestershire County Council are committed to supporting local businesses through the Here 2 Help programme to enhance their digital skills and the achievement of the Cyber Essentials certification is at the heart of this funding programme.

 

Concluding Thoughts

Our business has a very high degree of dependency on IT systems and their effective control.  We recognise that this level of dependency isn’t the same for all businesses though IT systems and data in some form or other are likely to be important for most, if not all businesses.

Business owners should take a step back and ask themselves what impact a cyber attack might have on their business and their ability to operate and serve their customers.   We would thoroughly recommend pursuing the Cyber Essentials certification if only to provide some peace of mind … but in reality it is so much more than this.

Then there is the whole question of insurance. Businesses typically hold insurance against various risks – fire, flood, death etc and these days you should add Cyber threats to that list –  a very real twenty first century risk.  Once again there is expert help and guidance locally at hand from the team at Sentio Insurance in Droitwich who take care of all of our insurance needs.

 

If you would like to talk to us about our experience of gaining the Cyber Essentials Certification please click here to send us a message or even to book a call

 

Further Information

National Cyber Security Centre

IASME Consortium – Malvern

Borwell Cyber Security – Malvern

Lucid Computer Solutions – Redditch

Cyber Security Insurance – Sentio Insurance, Droitwich

 

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