What To Look For In A Cyber Essentials Assessment Partner

Earlier this year the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) introduced an updated set of requirements for the Cyber Essentials (CE) scheme, representing the most significant revamp of the scheme’s technical controls since its launch in 2014.

The profound changes to the way people work over the past few years has introduced new cyber security challenges for employers. The NSCS update reflects this evolving threat landscape. 
 
Where is your organisation along the road to digital transformation? With many businesses now invested in cloud services and with the widespread adoption of hybrid and remote working practices, the landscape for cyber security is evolving at a fast pace. Does your business ensure that work-critical apps on Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) are protected? Does your IT estate allow employees to access all their data and files in the cloud seamlessly, in such a way that they can continue to work efficiently and productively anywhere? Reflecting the changes many businesses are now faced with, the remodelled CE schemes now offer organisations up-to-date advice and protection to help deal with the new working world.
 
Choosing An Assessor

The first step in getting your business CE certified is through online assessment. At the most basic level you can download the Cyber Essentials readiness toolkit. Answering questions about your current security posture will help you to create an action plan for your business to meet Cyber Essentials requirements. While this is a good place to start, opting for the more advanced CE+ will ensure your business is fully prepared to face modern cyber security challenges.
 
To gain CE+ accreditation, your business must complete an online assessment, followed by a technical audit to confirm that the necessary Cyber Essentials controls are in place. The audit includes a representative sample of user devices, all internet gateways, and all services that can be accessed by unauthenticated internet users. 
 
There are several benefits of CE+ accreditation. Passing the technical audit shows that your business is serious about combating cyber crime, which is reassuring to current and potential customers alike. But accreditation should also be viewed as an opportunity to fill any gaps in your security defences, to strengthen any weak links, or even identify training opportunities for your employees (often the weakest link in an organisation’s security structure thanks to sophisticated social engineering attacks). 
 
You may already have an assessor in mind to get your business Cyber Essentials certified, but do they thoroughly understand the framework? How much expertise do they have in critical areas such as application, endpoint, and cloud security?

When it comes to CE+ and the associated technical audit, your business is best served by an assessment partner who has the technical background and solutions to remediate any gaps you may have within the updated CE requirements before you take the assessment. 
 
Take, for example, evolving endpoint threats. With many businesses adopting practices such as BYOD and your employees adopting more flexible approaches to working, complete endpoint protection is vital for your organisation. 
 
Can your IT team name all the users within your organisation that need access to data in the cloud, and can they spot any unusual activity in real time? So-called shadow IT has grown exponentially in recent years with the adoption of cloud-based applications and services. And with cloud fast becoming the number one choice for businesses when it comes to managing and storing data and apps, have you ensured that your data in the cloud is secure? Your employees should be able to work productively anywhere in the world, with secure access to all the data and apps they need.
 
Collaborative working requires collaborative solutions that enable all stakeholders to securely share and access all the files and data they need. Who needs visibility of documents within your business? Who has visibility of these documents? Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial if your organisation is serious about keeping sensitive or private information secure. And if your business is subject to industry-specific regulations, your security strategy must include safeguards to keep you compliant. 
 
Whatever point your organisation is at in its digital transformation journey, you are probably already using cloud services and grappling with novel cyber security challenges brought about by hybrid and remote working practices. 
 
The Cyber Essentials schemes have been updated to help your business deal with these modern demands. Take this opportunity to choose a partner who can provide a robust technical audit, has the expertise to deliver technical solutions that are right for your business, and can ensure you ace the Cyber Essentials assessment. 
 
Steve Whiter is Director of Appurity

You Might Also Read: 

Are Your Employees The Weakest Link Against Cyber Crime?:

 

« Cyber Security In Fintech
Ransomware Is Driving Cyber Security Professionals To Consider Quitting »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

ManageEngine

ManageEngine

As the IT management division of Zoho Corporation, ManageEngine prioritizes flexible solutions that work for all businesses, regardless of size or budget.

Authentic8

Authentic8

Authentic8 transforms how organizations secure and control the use of the web with Silo, its patented cloud browser.

NordLayer

NordLayer

NordLayer is an adaptive network access security solution for modern businesses — from the world’s most trusted cybersecurity brand, Nord Security. 

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Our Supplier Directory lists 6,000+ specialist cyber security service providers in 128 countries worldwide. IS YOUR ORGANISATION LISTED?

LockLizard

LockLizard

Locklizard provides PDF DRM software that protects PDF documents from unauthorized access and misuse. Share and sell documents securely - prevent document leakage, sharing and piracy.

Montash

Montash

Montash is an award winning, global technology recruitment business, specialising in the acquisitions of high-performing talent across a number of core disciplines including Information Security.

Dome9

Dome9

Dome9 is a cloud firewall management service that stops vulnerabilities, secures remote access, and centralizes policy management.

Evok

Evok

EVOK is an IT Service provider specialized in installing, maintaining and supporting IT infrastructures for SMB's in Switzerland.

Cyber Future Foundation (CFF)

Cyber Future Foundation (CFF)

CFF was established to create a cyberspace where digital commerce and innovation can thrive based on trust and respect to individual privacy.

QuintessenceLabs

QuintessenceLabs

QuintessenceLabs offers a suite of Data Security technology, products and solutions to secure digital information in-transit, at-rest or in-use.

Evolve Secure Solutions

Evolve Secure Solutions

Evolve Secure Solutions is a security focused managed services provider serving private and public customers across the UK.

Magix Security

Magix Security

Magix Security assesses the cyber threat, gives you visibility of how vulnerable your business is to attack, and provides cybercrime detection and prevention services.

Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction

Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction

Sadoff E-Recycling and Data Destruction protect the environment and your data with proven and trusted electronics recycling and data destruction services.

Risk Based Security (RBS)

Risk Based Security (RBS)

Risk Based Security provide the most comprehensive and timely vulnerability intelligence, breach data and risk ratings.

Aware

Aware

Aware is the only comprehensive AI solution for governance, risk, compliance and insights for leading collaboration platforms.

Thistle Technologies

Thistle Technologies

Thistle Technologies is building tools that help connected device manufacturers build security resiliency into devices.

Logically.ai

Logically.ai

Logically combines artificial intelligence with expert analysts to tackle harmful and manipulative content at speed and scale.

Northdoor

Northdoor

Northdoor provides a comprehensive set of services around information security and works with leading global technology vendors to deploy and manage cyber security solutions.

OneCollab

OneCollab

OneCollab, your unwavering ally in the dynamic landscape of IT services and cybersecurity.

IT Solutions Consulting

IT Solutions Consulting

IT Solutions is a full-service IT partner providing managed services and other information technology solutions nationwide.

Uptime Institute

Uptime Institute

Uptime Institute is an unbiased advisory organization focused on improving the performance, efficiency, and reliability of business critical infrastructure.