9 January

The Cyber Essentials Benefits Your Business Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Protecting your customers’ data and your company’s highly-sensitive information should be one of your priorities.

After all, with how damaging cyber-attacks can be to your business, you simply can’t afford to be complacent with your cybersecurity.

If you don’t have any reliable security measures in place to defend against even the most common cyber threats, you could be leaving your business assets vulnerable to attacks. 

With so many ways that cyber-attacks can penetrate your system, you’ll need to assess and ensure that your business maintains cybersecurity controls to process and store customer data securely. 

This is why Cyber Essentials are important to your business.

Getting the cyber essentials certification means you have the technical controls in place to protect your data from common cyber threats – which helps establish your credibility to your customers, investors, and more.

There are several other benefits you can get from cyber essentials, and in this post, we’re going to take a look at some of its other advantages that your business shouldn’t miss out on. 

1. Increases your protection against typical cyber attacks.

Most of the common types of threats aiming to exploit basic weaknesses in your software, IT systems, and more can usually be uncomplicated to protect against – but this doesn’t diminish the growing importance of cybersecurity.

With the cyber essentials scheme, you can defend against 80% of the common cyber-attacks and improve your cybersecurity.

You can think of cyber essentials like a security checklist that you need to accomplish to process and store the sensitive data of your customers securely.

This “checklist” known as technical controls include the following:

  • Firewalls. With firewalls, you can monitor the traffic to your servers – which helps you understand and manage bandwidth requirements. 

This allows you to block unauthorized and potentially dangerous access, block external threats by creating private networks, and more. 

  • Security configuration. Proper configuration of your network devices and computers allows you to identify databases or systems that are outdated or those that you don’t use or need anymore – which helps reduce your level of security vulnerabilities. 
  • User access control. Proper management of your access controls and admin privileges reduces the risks of malicious software getting installed by your employees to their computers, for instance, and ensure that only IT-approved apps are installed.
  • Malware protection. Regularly updating your software virus is vital to protecting your business from various malware infections such as ransomware and worms. 
  • Patch management. Patches are designed to improve the performance and security of your software and apps – which means you need to manage your patches appropriately so any bugs, security vulnerabilities, and usability issues can be fixed.   

2. Raises the credibility of your business.

Although getting the cyber essentials certification isn’t mandatory – aside from the protection from common cyber threats – it can be valuable for your business.

One of the benefits of getting your business cyber essentials certified is that it helps you build trust with your market because it tells them of your commitment to protecting customer data. 

You’ll also benefit from getting certified and displaying that cyber essentials badge on your website since doing so can help improve the reputation of your business among investors, partners, suppliers, and potential customers.

This helps you gain a competitive advantage over your non-certified competitors and drive the growth of your business.

Let’s say you publish a blog on “The Web’s Most Searched Questions on Dropshipping” on your website that also displays your cyber essentials badge. 

Doing this not only provides value to your readers, but you’re also giving them the peace of mind that their data remains secure when they share their personal information with you on your site.  

Another plus side to having a cyber essentials certification is that it also allows you to bid for specific government projects.

Getting certified can require an investment of your time, energy, and resources, but the benefits for your cybersecurity and credibility far outweigh the benefits.

After all, cyber essentials help you establish that your business is actively taking preventive measures to reduce the risks of cyber threats – which increases your credibility and, ultimately, your sales.      

3. Improves your current cybersecurity measures. 

Just because your operations are running smoothly and you have a reliable IT department that upholds your security framework doesn’t mean you won’t need to audit your current security procedures and policies.

Failing to assess your cybersecurity framework, guidelines, tools, etc. can lead to vulnerabilities in your system that attackers can easily exploit.

For example, what cybersecurity measures do you have in place to secure your data on Internet of Things (IoT) devices?

The cyber essentials certification, however, presents the perfect opportunity since you are required to audit your internal IT security. 

The auditing process includes a questionnaire provided by auditors that you need to fill out – which is then verified and then signed by a senior representative. 

For instance, questions like, “Do you have a management process to update your old firewall in your network rack? Do you use strong passwords with a regular schedule to change them? Is your endpoint security updated?” are just some of the things in the questionnaire. 

Through this process, you can identify the security weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your system, network, and more that you need to address – which helps strengthen your existing cybersecurity measures. 

With cyber essentials, you’ll be able to exercise a deeper level of scrutiny to your cybersecurity policies and practices that you might have otherwise missed, uncover weaknesses, and improve protection measures. 

4. Reduces your cyber insurance premiums.

There isn’t a surefire method of protecting your business 100% from common cyber threats (yet), but what you CAN do is mitigate the risks of attacks as much as possible.

This means that you will need to take every precaution possible – making investing in cyber insurance a practical decision for your business.

However, cyber insurance isn’t exactly cheap. 

The good news is, there are cyber insurance agencies that will offer reduced insurance premiums if you have the cyber essentials certification. 

This helps you save on costs, and you can redirect your savings to other core processes in your operations that can improve your efficiency and drive your overall business performance. 

With that said, getting the cyber essentials certification not only improves your cybersecurity and boosts your credibility, but it will also reduce your cyber insurance premiums. 

Final Thoughts

Cyber essentials can bring a lot more advantages to your business, and the four discussed here are just the tip of the iceberg.

With cyber essentials, you can defend your business against common cyber threats, boost your credibility, improve your cybersecurity, and even reduce some costs.

If this information is useful for you, feel free to share it with your network. Cheers!