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Keep your business cyber secure

Wed 14 Nov 18

Cyber Essentials certification

Cyber Essentials certification is being increasingly recognised as a cost effective way for organisations to protect themselves against cyber attack, but is it right for you?

Cyber Essentials is a UK Government backed certification, run by the National Cyber Security Centre.

Cyber Essentials certification is a relatively simple way to make sure you have controls in place against the most common cyber threats.

And importantly, it allows you to publicly demonstrate your commitment to cyber security.

Full information at

Four reasons why cyber security matters 

1. Customer awareness is increasing

Last year saw a raft of high profile cyber attacks publicised in the media. As public awareness of cyber security is growing, more and more consumers are taking cyber security seriously.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that can demonstrate a robust approach to cyber security are more likely to be considered a safe bet by customers.

2. The procurement landscape is changing

If you’re bidding for contracts, you need this. The Scottish Government recently launched its public and private sector action plans on cyber security. Both include actions that mean from now on, being able to demonstrate

Cyber Essentials will be increasingly necessary when bidding for contracts. This reflects a general shift towards a focus on cyber security in the procurement process.

In a recent survey

  • 94% of procurement managers said cyber standards are important when awarding a contract for an SME
  • 86% said they would consider removing a supplier from their roster due to a cyber security breach

Source: Small Business Reputation and the Cyber Risk, KPMG, 2016

3. Cyber security is moving up the leadership agenda, fast

The amount of time leaders spend worrying about cyber security is increasing.

In the last year

  • Three quarters of UK businesses said cyber is a high priority for senior management
  • Three fifths have sought information, advice or guidance on cyber security
  • Nearly 70% spent money on cyber security

Source: DCMS Cybersecurity Breaches Survey 2017

4. Know the risk

If you’re an SME, there’s a one in two chance you’ll experience a cyber breach. And it doesn’t only apply to companies working in the digital sector. Companies from across different industries and sectors are targeted by cyber criminals on a daily basis for their intellectual property or customer data.

Of the companies attacked last year, 41% said online services weren’t seen as their core business. The reality is that small companies are often seen as soft targets compared to larger organisations who can employ teams of people and expensive systems.

The average cost of an attack is estimated to be between £1300 to £3000, but the damage can be more than financial. Nearly 90% of small businesses that were hacked last year said it caused damage to their brand, stopped them winning new business, or lost them clients. 93% said it significantly impacted on their ability to operate.

Source: Cyber Readiness Report, Hiscox, 2017

Security protection anti-virus software - Photo by Pexels 60504

Protect your business

Prevention is cost-effective and being resilient is an opportunity to create value and differentiate your business from your competitors. Make cyber security a key priority at the heart of your business - it shouldn’t just be left to your IT department.

Cyber Essentials certification is a good and achievable starting point for most businesses to begin their journey towards cyber resilience. And that's where we can help.

Cyber Essentials Voucher Scheme

To help more businesses become cyber secure, we’re running a Cyber Essentials Voucher Scheme which offers a voucher up to the value of £1000 to support Scottish SME’s to achieve the certification.

The voucher will give you an opportunity to choose a supplier who will work with you to gain certification and guide you through the process every step of the way.

If your business meets the following criteria you can apply for the Cyber Essentials voucher:

  • You must be a small or medium enterprise (SME) with fewer than 250 employees
  • You must have a registered base in Scotland
  • You must operate IT with a connection to the internet

Woman noting mobile settings - Photo by from Pexels

Talk to an adviser

To keep your business protected from online crime, speak to your local Business Gateway or your Scottish Enterprise or Highlands and Islands Enterprise adviser (if you have one).

The voucher scheme is part of a suite of digital support available to companies.

Read our Cyber Resilience Toolkit (PDF, 3.6MB)

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