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Scheme protects businesses from cyber attack

03 April 2020

UK businesses can now reduce their risk of falling victim to a cyber attack through a newly streamlined process for the government-backed certification scheme for cyber security.

From 1st April, the IASME Consortium has taken over the delivery of the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) Cyber Essentials scheme, which teaches businesses how to protect themselves from the most common cyber threats and reassure their customers that cyber security is taken seriously.

The scheme had previously been delivered through multiple accreditation bodies but, following a review, a single delivery partner was appointed to create a clear and consistent pathway for organisations to achieve Cyber Essentials status.

Cyber attackers often use relatively simple methods which exploit basic vulnerabilities, but through the scheme businesses can learn how to defend themselves by securing internet connections and devices, controlling access to data, and how to protect against malware.

Changes to the Cyber Essentials scheme include:

    • A newly simplified operating model and streamlined user experience
    • The introduction of a minimum criteria for Certification Bodies and Cyber Essentials assessors
    • The introduction of an expiry date on certificates

Since the scheme launch in 2014, the NCSC has helped to protect over 40,000 UK businesses from the most common cyber threats.

Anne W, head of commercial assurance services at the NCSC, said: "Cyber attacks come in varying shapes and sizes, but the vast majority are relatively simplistic and are the equivalent of a thief checking your car door to see if it’s unlocked.

"Our new partnership with the IASME Consortium strengthens the Cyber Essentials scheme, and I’d encourage UK businesses of any size to take part in order to protect themselves from the most common attacks."

The IASME Consortium was selected as the NCSC’s Cyber Essentials partner following a competitive tender process in 2019.