Government debuts Cyber Essentials Scheme to improve UK response to cyber attacks

The government has released a certification scheme for companies bidding on ICT contracts to ensure they are secure from cyber attacks


The government has released details about its new Cyber Essentials Scheme, which aims to improve the response of UK businesses to cyber threats.

Working alongside the Information Security Forum and British Standards Institution, the government has created a set of guidelines for UK companies to help them shore up their security and prevent future attacks.

Advertisement - Article continues below

As part of the scheme, cyber secure firms will be able to differentiate themselves from competitors in the market by qualifying for badges that display their aptitude in online security. Insurance organisations are also offering incentives for participants.

Participating companies will be provided with a step-by-step framework involving five key controls: boundary firewalls and internet gateways, secure configuration, access control, malware protection and patch management.

"Education is essential, as while larger organisations are more likely to have established frameworks in place, there are many smaller organisations that will find this process far more challenging," said Skyscape chief technology officer Simon Hansford.

"Schemes such as this are therefore crucial in order to equip businesses with the knowledge and actionable steps that will enable them to understand and recognise threat actors and reduce risks within their own organisations."

From 1 October 2014 the government will require all suppliers bidding for ICT contracts to have been certified through the Cyber Essentials Scheme.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Certification by the scheme can cover the whole of an company or a smaller sub-set, but the scope "must be clearly defined" according to the framework documents.

Costs for the scheme will be set by individual certification firms in competition with each other "in order to allow market forces to set the rates". The prices will scale depending on the size of a company and for how many areas they may wish to certify.

"This is the sort of support from government that will make a real difference to UK businesses," said Rob Cotton, CEO at NCC Group. "By putting standards in place it gives SMEs an attainable security benchmark, and one which will provide significant protection from a wide range of attacks."

Featured Resources

The case for a marketing content hub

Transform your digital marketing to deliver customer expectations

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

IT faces new security challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Beat the crisis by learning how to secure your network

Download now


mobile security

Parachute's Superlock feature keeps your phone recording in an emergency

2 Jun 2020

K2View innovates in data management with new encryption patent

28 May 2020
video conferencing

Zoom 5.0 adds 256-bit encryption to address security concerns

23 Apr 2020

WhatsApp flaw leaves users open to 'shoulder surfing' attacks

21 Apr 2020

Most Popular


Apple confirms serious bugs in iOS 13.5

4 Jun 2020

The UK looks to Japan and South Korea for 5G equipment

4 Jun 2020

Tycoon ransomware discovered using Java image files to target software firms

5 Jun 2020