Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus
4th December, 2023
Obtaining both Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications can be beneficial for organisations, as they provide different levels of cybersecurity assurance and serve distinct purposes.
They are schemes developed by the UK government to help organisations, both in the public and private sectors, improve their cybersecurity position. These schemes are designed to provide a baseline level of cybersecurity assurance and promote good cybersecurity practices.
Objective: Cyber Essentials is a basic certification designed to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber threats.
Self-Assessment: Organisations are required to complete a self-assessment questionnaire, which includes a set of security questions related to their cybersecurity practices and technical controls.
Scope: The certification focuses on five key areas of cybersecurity controls: firewall configuration, secure configuration, user access control, malware protection, and patch management.
Validation: The self-assessment is submitted to a certification body for review. Once the certification body confirms that the organisation meets the required security criteria, it receives the Cyber Essentials certificate.
Benefits: Cyber Essentials certification demonstrates a commitment to basic cybersecurity best practices and can be a requirement for doing business with government agencies and many private sector organisations. It also helps improve an organisation’s cybersecurity posture.
Cyber Essentials Plus
Objective: Cyber Essentials Plus is a more advanced certification that includes a higher level of assurance compared to Cyber Essentials.
External Testing: In addition to the self-assessment questionnaire used for Cyber Essentials, Cyber Essentials Plus involves external testing. A qualified and accredited cybersecurity professional performs vulnerability scans and tests on an organisation’s network and systems to verify the security controls are effectively in place.
Scope: It covers the same five key areas as Cyber Essentials but includes more thorough testing to ensure that the controls are working effectively.
Validation: After successfully passing the external tests, the organisation receives the Cyber Essentials Plus certification.
Benefits: Cyber Essentials Plus provides a higher level of assurance and validation of an organisation’s cybersecurity measures. It is often required by organisations or government agencies for more critical and sensitive contracts and partnerships.
Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus are cybersecurity certifications designed to help organisations establish and verify basic security controls and best practices. Cyber Essentials Plus offers a higher level of assurance by including external testing, making it suitable for organisations with more complex security needs or those dealing with highly sensitive data. Both certifications help organisations enhance their cybersecurity posture, reduce cybersecurity risks, and demonstrate their commitment to security to potential clients and partners.
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