Complying With the Changes to the Cyber Essentials Accreditation
Cyber Essentials is a government supported scheme that was introduced in 2014, and its purpose is to ensure that organisations across the country have capable, secure controls. Cyber Essentials certification has become very important – with the world becoming a more dangerous place than ever before in regard to cyber security, now is the time to achieve the accreditation.
The scheme is centred around five key elements of cyber security – they are as follows:
It is essential that only those who need access to specific information in your organisation has it, and – taking this further – that this is monitored and checked regularly.
You must apply the most secure settings to all of your devices and software. One way you can do this is by changing passwords and removing unused accounts and outdated software as expeditiously as possible.
You must ensure that all software and systems are up to date because this is the only way to know that they are equipped with vendor approved security features, in turn meaning that they are as protected as possible.
You must reduce the likelihood of being infected by any form of malware, including computer viruses, spyware, botnet software, and ransomware. This can be done by ensuring you have correctly installed anti-malware software that only allows trusted applications which pose little threat of containing Malware.
Firewalls create a ‘buffer zone’ that allows you to analyse the traffic that is looking to gain access to your network. Firewalls automatically determine whether traffic should be allowed to pass through the gateway to your data.
The Cyber Essentials scheme offers two levels of certification, both of which ensure the security of your organisation – the only difference is that one is more extensive than the other. They are as follows:
Cyber Essentials involves a self-assessment questionnaire which is independently assessed by a governing body and can be conducted online.
Cyber Essentials Plus is almost the same but is a slightly more extensive examination process. It will ensure that not only the IT infrastructure is secure but that the cyber solutions you have in place comply with the requirements of the scheme.
The scheme has recently been updated and some of the requirements have changed in order to boost the levels of security your organisation achieves.
Why Were Changes Made?
As we have already briefly explored, cyber threats have advanced since Cyber Essentials’ conception, and have increased in commonality and grown in severity. It is for this reason that it became essential that amendments be made to address the ever-changing nature of cyber threats and – due to these changes – the way we work. The scheme undergoes regular reviews to ensure that it continues to add value to your security solutions.
The latest update centres around our reliance on Cloud services – which are increasing rapidly around the world – alongside the international adoption of remote and hybrid working. All have brought new cyber security considerations to light that are in desperate need of being addressed if you want your organisation to stay secure.
In the following article, we will outline what needs to be done to ensure that you stay secure and within the confines of the accreditation guidelines.
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