Government Cyber Essentials Scheme Launched

Jun 06, 2014

The government launched the new Cyber Essentials award yesterday, intended to help businesses defend against cyber attacks.

Organisations can enter now for the award, which Whitehall says will demonstrate to consumers that security measures are in place.

Tech firm HP, Barclays Bank and defence company BAE Systems are among the first to apply for the recognition.

Small businesses are also getting involved, including cloud services provider Skyscape, information assurance firm Nexor and security company Tier 3.

Other organisations include the University of Derby, the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Risk Management and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Although the scheme went live yesterday, it was initially introduced in April this year, along with a Cyber Security Implementation Profile that urges businesses to consider five essential security controls.

The government says the Essentials scheme is necessary because up until now there was no single recognised cyber security assurance certification available.

Insurers are also backing the programme, with many offering incentives to organisations that become certified.

“The recent GOZeuS and Cryptolocker attacks, as well as the eBay hack, show how far cyber criminals will go to steal people’s financial details and we absolutely cannot afford to be complacent,” claimed David Willets, Universities and Science Minister.

“We already spend more online than any other major country in the world and this is in no small part because Britain is already a world leader in cyber security.

“Developing this new scheme will give consumers further confidence that businesses and government have defences in place to protect against the most common cyber threats,” he added.

FSB Support For The Scheme

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the creation the Cyber Essentials award because cybercrime is an issue that affects even small companies.

“FSB research found that cybercrime costs small businesses around £800m every year and is a threat that cannot be ignored,” claimed FSB national policy chairman Mike Cherry.

“Many businesses take steps to protect themselves but the cost of crime can act as a barrier to growth. For example, some businesses refrain from embracing new technology as they fear the repercussion and do not believe they will get adequate protection from crime,” he added.




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