The Cyber Essentials Scheme

What is the Cyber Essentials scheme?

Cyber Essentials is a UK government scheme that sets out five basic security controls to protect organisations against around 80% of common cyber attacks.

The scheme’s certification process is designed to help organisations of any size demonstrate their commitment to cyber security – all while keeping the approach simple, and the costs low.

The Cyber Essentials scheme has changed

The CREST-accredited Cyber Essentials scheme is now closed to new entrants with effect from 1 April 2020. IT Governance is unable to accept new customers under the replacement scheme until contractual issues have been addressed. As soon as they have, we can process new Cyber Essentials certification applications. Thank you for your patience.  

What do I need Cyber Essentials? 

Prevent around 80% of cyber attacks

Prevent around 80% of cyber attacks

Correctly implementing five basic security controls will protect your organisation against the most common cyber threats.

Demonstrate security

Demonstrate security and secure your supply chain

Achieving Cyber Essentials certification will help you demonstrate your commitment to data protection and cyber security.

Win new partnerships

Win new contracts, clients and customers

Cyber Essentials certification will help boost your reputation and give you a better chance of winning new business.

Drive business efficiency

Drive business efficiency

You can focus on your core business objectives while knowing that you are protected from the most common cyber attacks.

Cyber Essential Secure configuration

Reduce cyber insurance premiums

Cyber insurance agencies look more favourably on organisations that have achieved Cyber Essentials certification.

Learn more about the benefits of Cyber Essentials certification

What does Cyber Essentials cover?



Firewalls need to be properly set up to prevent unauthorised access to your internal networks.

Learn more about firewalls

Cyber Essential Secure configuration

Secure configuration

Computers and network devices should be configured to minimise vulnerabilities and provide only the services required.

Learn more about secure confirguaration

Cyber Essentials Access Control

Access control

User accounts should be assigned only to authorised individuals, be managed effectively, and only provide the minimum level of access.

Learn more about access control 

Cyber Essentials Malware Protection

Malware protection

Anti-malware software should be installed to protect your computers, important data and privacy.

Learn more about malware protection

Cyber Essentials Patch Management

Patch management

Software and operating systems should be regularly updated to fix known vulnerabilities.

Learn more about patch management

What’s the difference between Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus?

Cyber Essentials Certification

Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials includes an SAQ (self-assessment questionnaire). 

Cyber Essentials is right for you if:

You want a base-level security certification to demonstrate that you have key controls in place.

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Cyber Essentials Plus Certification

Cyber Essentials Plus

Cyber Essentials Plus includes an external vulnerability assessment, an internal scan and an on-site assessment.

Cyber Essentials Plus is right for you if:

Your employees work from remote locations, or third parties have access to your premises or IT.

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Get Cyber Essentials certified with IT Governance

Our simple five-step methodology:



Define the scope

Certification can apply to an organisation’s full enterprise IT or just to a subset. Either way, the scope needs to be clearly defined before the certification process can get underway. Our Cyber Essentials online portal guides you through this process.



The next step to certification is to complete the required SAQ.


On-site assessment

Organisations seeking certification to Cyber Essentials Plus will be required to go through a series of external vulnerability scans, internal vulnerability tests of the system(s) in scope, and the SAQ.


External scan

As a CREST-accredited certification body, we will review your SAQ to ensure it meets the scheme’s requirements, and conduct an external vulnerability scan of your Internet-facing networks and applications. This scan is used to verify that there are no obvious vulnerabilities.



Once the SAQ and scans have been successfully completed and approved, you will be asked to confirm your details and sign off your application.

Why choose IT Governance as your Cyber Essentials partner?

Certification simplified

Our unique Cyber Essentials portal allows you to complete the certification process online, without any need for expert knowledge.

One-stop shop

We provide all tools and resources needed to achieve CREST-accredited certification at both levels of the Cyber Essentials scheme.

End-to-end support

We deliver all the technical tests and assessments, conducted by our experienced technical testers.  

Tailored solutions

We have various packaged solutions available to support organisations with different levels of experience through the Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus certification process.

Unrivalled expertise

Having led ISO 27001 implementations since the inception of the Standard, we have the knowledge and insight to help you take the next steps beyond Cyber Essentials.

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We've helped hundreds of organisations like yours achieve Cyber Essentials

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