How cyber-aware are your employees, and do you need Cyber Essentials Plus?
As the world grows increasingly digital, businesses become more exposed to the risks of cyber crime.
- The average cost of a cyber attack in the UK is now £15,300.
- Around 236.1 million ransomware attacks occurred globally in the first half of 2022.
- In 2022, 5.5 billion malware attacks were detected around the globe.
From phishing emails to ransomware attacks, there are many ways that criminals can gain access to your sensitive data – which is why you need to take steps to protect your business. A Cyber Essentials Plus certification could be exactly what you need to gain that extra level of assurance.
But cyber security is about more than having the right protection software in place. True cyber security starts by making your employees aware of the risks and how to prevent them.
While cyber threats aren’t high on the agenda of most employees, it’s essential that your workforce knows the dangers that lurk online, and understands:
- How to identify potential cyber crime
- How to protect against cyber attacks
- What steps to take in the event of an attack
Your employees are your first line of defence – before any protection software you choose to invest in. But do you know how cyber-aware your team really is? Why not test yourself with this quick quiz?
Increasing cyber awareness within your business
Educating your workforce is the first step to a more secure, better protected business. With remote and hybrid working being the new norm, devices are connected to various networks, passwords are shared amongst team members, and Internet usage habits are much more difficult to monitor and manage.
It’s no coincidence that 2020 saw a 69% uptick in the hourly number of cyber crime victims. The pandemic introduced a new way of working, exposing businesses to new forms of cyber attacks that they simply were not prepared for. Unsurprisingly, the incline shows no signs of stopping, with cyber attacks increasing by a further 38% in 2022.
That’s why, now more than ever, ensuring cyber awareness within your workforce is critical to the protection and safety of your business.
The first challenge is to assess the current level of awareness within your teams. Once you know how educated they are on the subject, you can work towards arming each and every team member with the knowledge they need to better protect their devices, and subsequently, your business.
How? Whether you choose to assign quizzes or surveys to assess their level of awareness, or send out dummy phishing emails to see how each individual reacts – it’s important to take the time to understand where the knowledge gaps are so you can then plug them for maximum security.
This is where Cyber Essentials Plus comes in.
What is Cyber Essentials Plus?
Where Cyber Essentials is a self-assessment of your systems that certifies that your digital doors are locked, consider Cyber Essentials Plus an extra layer of security – like a digital bodyguard manning the door. It has all the simplicity and ease of Cyber Essentials, but with the additional comfort of a thorough and hands-on audit of your systems conducted by an experienced cyber security specialist.
Essentially, Cyber Essentials Plus gives you extra peace of mind, allowing you to mitigate risk, protect your systems, and reduce the likelihood of falling victim to malicious activities.
The certification not only ensures that the organisation as a whole is cyber-aware, but also that the right measures are put in place to encourage best practice and promote a more secure approach to online activities.
Cyber Essentials Plus also opens up new opportunities for business – offering customer reassurance, a competitive edge, and meeting tender requirements for government contracts.
How do you become Cyber Essentials Plus certified?
Getting the Cyber Essentials Plus certification is easier than you’d think. It’s measured against the same five basic controls as for Cyber Essentials:
- Secure configuration
- User access controls
- Malware protection
- Security update management
Where Cyber Essentials Plus differs is it also includes a series of vulnerability scans and tests conducted by an external assessor – as opposed to a self-assessment – to certify that your business is properly equipped to protect against and react to a cyber attack.
If the assessor concludes that your business meets the five basic controls, then you receive the certification which offers you and your customers a deeper level of assurance that data is protected, as well as showing a commitment to data privacy and helping to bolster your business’ reputation in the cyber landscape.
Take control of your business’ cyber awareness strategy
The first step to a more secure, protected business is to know your weaknesses. No organisation is impenetrable – whatever its size. It only takes one wrong move to expose your systems to a whole host of threats.
Our Cyber Security Review offers a vulnerability scan of networks as well as a deep dive into your current IT infrastructure, the basic principles of cyber security, and helps to identify your weak spots, so you can fix them before it’s too late. From password policies to patch management – one of our expert analysts will run through your systems and share best practices to help safeguard your business against cyber attacks.
You can book a bespoke security review for your business here.