A lot of small businesses in the East of England know how important Cyber Essentials is for keeping their businesses safe. After all, it’s a government-backed programme that promises essential protection from a wide range of online dangers.

But did you know that there is a certification called Cyber Essentials Plus that is even better?

This advanced accreditation gives you more security measures along with a technical audit of your business to find any possible weaknesses.

In this guide, we’ll discuss why Cyber Essentials Plus is important and how it can protect your business from cyberattacks.

We’ll also help you figure out if now is the right time for your business to switch from Cyber Essentials to Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

Why Cyber Essentials Plus is important for businesses

No matter how big or small or in what field, every business should take steps to protect itself from cybercrime.

Cyber Essentials is a great certificate for small businesses in the East of England because it is affordable and easy to get. It helps smaller companies ensure they have the basic protections to keep themselves safe.

But while basic security is great, it might not be enough for your business.

Cyber Essentials Plus gives businesses a complete framework that helps them find and fix weaknesses in their IT infrastructure. It uses penetration testing to discover if any internal or external weaknesses could be used by someone with bad intentions. With scanning software, these flaws could be found and fixed long before they became a problem.

As our local economy continues to grow, we want to encourage businesses from Ipswich, Colchester, and Bury St. Edmunds to Norwich and Cambridge to invest in Cyber Essentials Plus.

We want local businesses to be able to see how an updated certification could give you more protection and reduce the risks of any cybercrime.

The end result will be that our business communities will have the tools they need to grow and become thriving centres of success and innovation.

The benefits of implementing Cyber Essentials Plus

Upgrading to a Cyber Essential Plus certificate will, of course, help your business in many ways.

Network security in cyberspace. The idea of data safety. A man wearing a VR headset and using a computer programme to learn about cloud computing and data encryption on the internet. First of all, you’re making sure you have a robust defence against the new cyber threats and attacks that keep coming up. With proactive technical audits, you can be sure that your business aligns with global best practices and that your cybersecurity defences are routinely checked each year.

Second, you’ll be able to significantly cut your risk of data breaches and unauthorised access to corporate information. Since the ICO takes data breaches very seriously, having a Cyber Essentials Plus certificate could help protect you financially if a data breach does occur. Your certificate could show that you are taking the proper steps to keep your company’s information safe. Your certificate could also help you get better rates on your business insurance because it shows that you care about the safety of your business.

We already know that government and public sector contracts must have Cyber Essentials certification. But the advanced certificate could give your clients and stakeholders more confidence that you are safe and reliable. Showing that you’ve gone above and beyond the basic level of protection indicates that you pay attention to details and care about data protection.

How do you know if it’s the right time to upgrade to Cyber Essentials Plus?

As experienced cybersecurity experts in Suffolk, we often suggest that clients consider upgrading to a Cyber Essentials Plus certification if they can answer “yes” to any of the following questions.

  • Do you work from home or from several different locations?
  • Have you recently scaled up your business or hired more people?
  • Have you updated any parts of your corporate IT systems?
  • Have you invested in new technology or software set up by someone other than you?

If you’ve made changes to your IT systems, you should always be aware that those changes could have created vulnerabilities elsewhere. Simple things like plugin conflicts or misplaced user access settings could be enough to create an unknown weakness. So, upgrading to a Cyber Essentials Plus certificate could give you the incentive and motivation to do a full technical audit and make sure everything is set up correctly.

Cyber Essentials Plus should be part of your business growth plan

We have been actively encouraging our clients in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Essex to think about Cyber Essentials Plus as an important step in the growth of their businesses.

We already said that Cyber Essentials Plus might help you get new contracts. A CE Plus certificate makes sure that you can get government contracts and also meets the enhanced security requirements of the Ministry of Defence. Getting a Cyber Essentials Plus certificate could be particularly important if your business depends on government contracts.

But ultimately, we believe that as your business grows, you should be setting yourself clear targets. Working towards Cyber Essentials and then upgrading to Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation is a clear sign that your business is growing.

Modern office with a diverse workforce: driven businessman leads meeting with managers, converses, and uses presentation TV with statistics, charts of growth, and big data. Cyber Essentials is a great goal for small and medium-sized businesses in Suffolk as well as our thriving freelance community. It protects you from the most common risks and gives you a great starting point for cybersecurity.

But as your business grows, Cyber Essentials may no longer give you enough protection.

That’s because as you grow, your business will become more complex. Perhaps third parties can access your systems, or you might begin to integrate complicated supply chains. If so, you should be ready to invest in Cyber Essentials Plus.

That’s because, at this point in the life cycle of your business, you will have outgrown basic protection and be ready for something more technical and in-depth.

Talk to Lucid Systems about Cyber Essentials Plus

We have a stellar reputation in Suffolk (and beyond) for helping local businesses achieve Cyber Essentials certification.

Our clients trust us to take care of the applications for them. They know that before we apply for any certificate, we’ll take the time to do a thorough evaluation and improve your systems.

But did you know that we can also take care of your Cyber Essentials Plus certification?

You can apply to upgrade your certification if you’ve had Cyber Essentials for at least three months.

Our team of experienced cybersecurity experts can handle the application and work with external assessors to manage the technical audit on your behalf. If you let us take care of the whole process, you don’t have to worry about getting lost in the technical details. Instead, you can rely on us to take care of the accreditation so you can focus on other things.

Want to know if Cyber Essentials Plus is the right choice for your business? Book a call with one of our experienced engineers, and we can help you enhance your cybersecurity defences.

CYBER SECURITY

Karl Wilkinson

Technical Director

About The Author

As Technical Director, Karl is our most senior engineer and responsible for delivering solutions and providing support to our 2nd and 3rd line engineers ensuring that they can resolve any technical issues reported by our clients.

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