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Here at Critical Path, our mission has always been to help our clients plan, monitor and control their projects as effectively as possible. In this fast-paced technology-led world, cybercriminals are one of the biggest threats to businesses, with 69% of large organisations suffering some form of cyber attack or breach in the last year. 

That is why we are very proud to announce that we have achieved Cyber Essentials certification. This not only ensures that we are able to protect ourselves, but it also means we can help our clients achieve their own certification. 

What is Cyber Essentials Certification?

The government created Cyber Essentials to help businesses and organisations defend against cybercriminals. It outlines basic technical controls for protection against common online threats. By enhancing cybersecurity and showcasing a commitment to data security, Cyber Essentials can benefit all organisations, regardless of size or sector.

The government mandates Cyber Essentials Certification for suppliers bidding on sensitive data contracts. Since its launch in 2014, over 120,000 certificates have been awarded with support from industry organisations like the Confederation of British Industry and insurance groups. Cyber Essentials Plus offers higher security testing, ensuring protection against phishing and other hacking attempts.

Why did we become Cyber Essentials certified?

We had several reasons for getting certified, but three stood out the most. It's worth noting that the certification applies to all types of organisations, regardless of their size or sector. Below, we'll cover the three primary motivations behind our decision.

1) Combat the growing threat

Cybercriminals constantly evolve their tactics, making it essential for businesses to stay ahead of the curve in terms of cybersecurity. We actively protect our systems and data against these growing threats by obtaining Cyber Essentials Certification. This certification gives us confidence that our protective measures are robust and effective, reassuring our clients that we prioritise their security needs.

2) Our customers want it

We have observed a growing trend among our customers increasingly concerned about cybersecurity. Many of them now require assurances that stringent IT safeguards protect their data. Pursuing Cyber Essentials Certification not only aligns with these expectations but also serves as a proactive measure to ensure that our customers can trust in the security of their data while working with us.

3) Understand our systems

It offers more than just a badge of compliance; it provides an invaluable opportunity to comprehensively understand our current IT systems. Through the certification process, we gain a thorough insight into the strengths and weaknesses of our organisation's security infrastructure. This deeper understanding empowers us to make informed decisions about enhancing our cybersecurity posture and mitigating potential vulnerabilities effectively.

How to get Cyber Essentials Certification

Obtaining the certification is a process that every organisation should actively pursue, irrespective of its size or industry. Recognised as a widely respected government scheme, Cyber Essentials Certification is a hallmark of a business's commitment to robust cybersecurity practices. Here's a detailed guide on how to obtain this certification:

Step 1: Select Your Certification Package

The first step towards Cyber Essentials Certification is to choose between the Basic or Plus package. Each package offers varying levels of security assurance, catering to different organisational needs. Purchasing the chosen package grants access to the member's area, where comprehensive guidance and resources are provided to assist in effectively securing your IT systems.

Step 2: Complete the Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Once you have selected your preferred package, the next step involves completing the self-assessment questionnaire. This questionnaire assesses your organisation's cybersecurity measures against the Cyber Essentials requirements. It can be conveniently filled out online, allowing flexibility for organisations to work through it at their own pace. The questionnaire covers key areas such as firewalls, secure configuration, user access control, malware protection, and patch management.

Step 3: Submission and Review Process

After completing the self-assessment questionnaire, the submitted information undergoes a thorough review by cybersecurity specialists. This review ensures that your organisation's security measures align with the Cyber Essentials standards and requirements. During this stage, any discrepancies or areas requiring clarification may be communicated.

Step 4: Certification Approval

Upon successfully reviewing and validating your organisation's cybersecurity practices, the International Association of Cyber Security (IASME) consortium, the awarding body for Cyber Essentials Certification, issues the certification. This certification serves as tangible proof of your organisation's commitment to maintaining robust cybersecurity measures.

Step 5: Implementation of Recommendations (Optional)

While not mandatory for certification, organisations may implement any recommendations or suggestions provided during the review process to further enhance their cybersecurity posture. This proactive approach can help protect against potential cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

Step 6: Certification Renewal (Annually)

It's important to note that Cyber Essentials Certification is valid for one year. Therefore, organisations should plan to renew their certification annually to ensure continuous adherence to cybersecurity best practices and standards.

Benefits of Cyber Essentials Certification

Protecting your business from cyber threats is crucial in today's digital world. Discover the advantages of Cyber Essentials certification and learn how it can strengthen your business and make it more resilient to attacks.

Enhance Your Security Processes

Achieving Cyber Essentials certification offers more than just a badge—it provides peace of mind. Knowing that your IT security measures effectively shield your business, you can confidently navigate the digital realm. This accreditation is designed to safeguard against 98.5% of common cybersecurity threats, ensuring comprehensive protection for your systems and data.

Build Customer Trust

In an era marked by high-profile cyberattacks, establishing trust with customers is non-negotiable. Cyber Essentials certification serves as a tangible demonstration of your organisation's commitment to cybersecurity. This certification, supported by the government, assures customers that their sensitive data is safe. It helps build trust and boosts your reputation as a reliable guardian of their information.

Unlock Government Contracts

Cyber Essentials certification is a prerequisite for bidding on government contracts, opening doors to more opportunities in the public sector. By achieving this certification, your business becomes eligible to undertake projects and contracts involving government agencies, expanding your potential market and revenue streams.

Gain Visibility on the Registered Supplier List

Upon certification approval, your organisation's name is listed on the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) website's registered supplier list. This public registry allows potential clients to verify your cybersecurity credentials, enhancing your credibility and facilitating trust-based engagements.

Strengthen Your Supply Chain

Cyber Essentials certification improves your internal cybersecurity posture and strengthens your relationships with suppliers, partners, and stakeholders. Showing you take cybersecurity seriously boosts trust in the supply chain. It promotes teamwork and builds a culture where security is a priority.

Ready to achieve your Cyber Essentials Certification?

Are you ready to secure your Cyber Essentials Certification? Here at Critical Path, we have partnered with Cyber Essentials to offer this vital certification to all of our clients. This ensures your ability to protect IT systems and keep your business safe from cybercriminal threats.

Our team will work with you every step of the way, helping you to improve your systems and implement the latest techniques and security features. Want to find out more about how our experienced team can help you? Get in touch today

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