Cyber Essentials, the UK government-assured security scheme, is a terrific way of giving you a general overview of the effectiveness of your cyber security practices.
Its practical approach helps you manage basic cyber security concerns, such as detecting and preventing malware, patching software vulnerabilities, avoiding unauthorised access to systems and networks and improving secure configuration.
In fact, IT Governance is an IASME-licenced certification body for the scheme and has issued more than 5,000 certificates of Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus across the CREST and IASME schemes.
What Cyber Essentials lacks, though, is a process to manage your day-to-day security concerns. For example, although it includes guidelines on installing software updates to patch known vulnerabilities, it doesn’t explain what to do when a new threat emerges without warning.
Likewise, it doesn’t contain measures to address common staff-related threats, such as phishing and ransomware scams, which are among the biggest threats organisations face.
Consider how many security risks are directly related to your employees, whether it’s scam emails trying to trick them into handing over login details or malware hidden in email attachments.
Research by The Aberdeen Group found that these incidents account for 9 out of 10 data breaches, but organisations can reduce the risk by up to 70% by conducting ongoing staff awareness training.
That’s where Cyber Security as a Service comes in.
This package contains everything you need to provide additional protection to your organisation, providing vulnerability scans, staff training, template policies and procedures, unlimited guidance and expert support.
The first major benefit of Cyber Security as a Service is that it comes with monthly automated vulnerability scans that provide an up-to-date picture of your system’s security.
Cyber criminals launch thousands of automated attacks every day, targeting new vulnerabilities in your systems and networks that are discovered each day, and it’s only a matter of time until your organisation is affected by such an attack.
As such, you must take extra precautions to make sure your organisation is as secure as possible.
Weaknesses are discovered all the time, whether by you or cyber criminals, so regular vulnerability scans are essential. The more often you run them, the more likely you are to detect weaknesses before cyber criminals have the chance to exploit them.
Cyber Security as a Service also contains access to essential staff awareness training courses. Your employees will be taught cyber security best practices, how to spot and respond to phishing scams and how to avoid mistakes when emailing stakeholders.
Together, these courses provide staff with a comprehensive understanding of the threats they face and the steps they must take to prevent data breaches.
Our template policies and procedures will make their job even easier, as you can be sure that staff are following the correct protocols and thereby being less susceptible to an attacker’s exploits.
The importance of an independent assessment
When Cyber Essentials is implemented correctly, its controls will prevent about 80% of common cyber attacks. That’s clearly a good starting point, but it’s not enough.
An independent assessment of your security posture in the way of monthly vulnerability scans provides a continuous review of the vulnerabilities in your Internet-facing networks and applications, helping you to stay one step ahead on a consistent basis.
Since the Cyber Essentials certification is based on a self-assessment, Cyber Security as a Service gives you the peace of mind that you’re reviewing and updating your systems continuously.
And if you ever run into any issues or are unsure how to proceed, you can turn to our Cyber Security Advice Service, which provides unlimited access to one of our cyber security specialists who can advise you on the best course of action.