Cyber Essentials is like an MOT test for your car – it confirms that your IT systems have passed a key set of standards. If you can show that your organisation is meeting the security standards in Cyber Essentials, you can be confident that you have some protection against the most common types of cyber attack.
Checking that you meet the standards will involve some work with your IT supplier, but completing the process means you have a better idea of how robust your IT systems are. Here's a quick overview of the main elements of Cyber Essentials.
Cyber Essentials is important because as organisations are making more and more use of digital technology, they are potentially putting more and more information at risk from cyber attack.
Because your IT systems are a crucial part of keeping your organisation on the road, you need to be sure they are well protected from cyber attacks. Most charities would struggle to operate effectively if they lost access to their data, or were not able to send or receive emails. So a bit of work to prevent such scenarios is very worthwhile. Organisations who have already received support to get Cyber Essentials have found it a worthwhile process.
“If you are following industry best practices, Cyber Essentials is easy to achieve and gives your organisation the reassurance that they are doing as much as possible to protect their IT. This will hopefully reassure any present and future partners that their data is safe with us” - Andrew Heede, GCVS
The Cyber Essentials scheme addresses the most common Internet-based threats to cyber security — particularly, attacks that use widely available tools and demand little skill. For example:
How does getting Cyber Essentials benefit your organisation?
Cyber Essentials certification demonstrates levels of security which may be required for certain local & national government contracts.
Certification involves a simple, three step process:
With the support of the Scottish Government, SCVO are running a grants scheme to support charities and third sector organisations to achieve Cyber Essentials accreditation. Grants of up to £1,000 are available, to cover technical work to prepare for Cyber Essentials and the cost of accreditation itself.
The deadline for the current round of cyber grants is 30 August 2019 - apply now!