New British Cyber Advisor Scheme

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is offering a new Cyber Advisor service. The initial 100 Cyber Advisor assessments will be funded by the NCSC. To begin with, the NCSC is inviting participants to take part in 100 free assessments which will be used to test and develop the scheme, due to be fully launched in the first quarter of 2023. Once live, individuals will be able to apply to become a Cyber Advisor for a fee.

The scheme is intended to extend the NCSC’s reach to offer a trusted source of cyber security advice to a wider range of organisations. 

This will include the ability to recommend independently assured organisations that can help their customers implement a baseline level of cyber security, creating a trusted ecosystem that allows consumers to know better who to engage and what to expect. 

A Cyber Advisor will be an individual assessed by the NCSC as having a good understanding of baseline security controls and the ability to provide practical help to companies who want to achieve them.

Qualified Cyber Advisors will initially focus on helping their customers meet Cyber Essentials 5 technical controls, firewalls, secure settings, access controls, malware and software updates, by identifying and helping implement improvements that are right for the size and needs of their customer. A company engaging the help of a Cyber Advisor doesn’t need to be aiming for Cyber Essentials certification; those controls are being used as a baseline as they help guard against the most common cyber attacks. 

Under the new scheme those organisations who have a qualified Cyber Advisor on their staff will be able to apply to become an NCSC Assured Service Provider. 

Only organisations who become Assured Service Providers and employ a qualified Cyber Advisor will be able to offer NCSC Cyber Advisor services to customers.

Initial Cyber Advisor Assessments

The NCSC will initially be fully funding the initial 100 Cyber Advisor assessments. Individual applicants, with differing levels of experience and skills, and from diverse backgrounds across the UK, will be selected to test. 
Those individuals who complete a free assessment will be asked for feedback and to provide data to help the NCSC develop the Cyber Advisor scheme further and ensure that Cyber Advisors can offer the required knowledge and skill set.   

Cyber Advisors will be expected to help organisations by:

  • Conducting Cyber Essentials gap analysis to assess the organisations Internet-facing IT identifying where it fails to meet the Cyber Essentials controls.
  • Developing reports on the status of the organisation’s Cyber Essentials controls for senior leadership, detailing the requirements that are met and those that are not, describing why controls are not met and the risks the organisation is exposed to, as well as the recommended actions to take.
  • Working with the business to agree remediation activities.
  • Planning remediation activities that align to the risk and business priorities.
  •  Implementing remediation activities – or guide technical teams to do so – sympathetically to operational activities.
  • Developing and presenting post-engagement reports summarising the engagement and detailing any remediation work completed, pointing out any residual risk with recommendations for reducing those risks.

Cyber security professionals who think you have the required knowledge and skill set can  apply by contacting the scheme’s delivery partner, IASME. Anyone who passes the assessment but who is not employed by an Assured Service Provider will not be eligible to offer Cyber Advisor services.

Cyber Advisor Assured Service Providers

To be eligible to offer Cyber Advisor services under the scheme organisations will need to become an Assured Service Provider registered with IASME and employ at least one formally assessed Cyber Advisor. An organisation applying to be an Assured Service Provider will be expected to meet requirements demonstrating good cyber security and a commitment to achieving an excellent and consistent customer experience through a quality management system. An annual subscription fee will be levied.

To register your interest in participating in the scheme Proof of Concept and to apply for one of the fully-funded Cyber Advisor assessment places, please complete the application form which can be found on the IASME website.

NCSC:       IASME:     CSO Online:     Cyber News Group:     Computer Weekly

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