Why you could be eligible for free Cyber Essentials certification

funded Cyber Essentials certification

Do you run a small charity or legal aid firm? If so, you could be eligible for funded Cyber Essentials certification to help you put basic cybersecurity measures in place. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the funded Cyber Essentials scheme? 

Small charities and legal aid firms protect and serve some of the most vulnerable in our society. However, unfortunately, they’re also a key target for cybercriminals. The NCSC’s Cyber Breaches Survey 2022 revealed that 30% of UK charities identified a breach in the last 12 months.

The reason for this is simple. Charities and legal aid firms process large volumes of highly sensitive data but often have relatively weak defences – making them an ideal target for cybercriminals.

To counter this, the National Cyber Security Centre and IASME have launched the new Funded Cyber Essentials Programme. This offers small organisations in high-risk sectors free, practical support to help put basic cybersecurity controls in place and achieve Cyber Essentials certification. 

How does the scheme work? 

Qualifying organisations will receive up to 20 hours of remote support with a Cyber Essentials Assessor – all at no cost. Our assessors will spend this time helping you identify and implement the improvements needed to meet the 5 technical controls of Cyber Essentials. We’ll follow this up with an assessment to ensure everything is in place. 

With our guidance, you’ll be ready to take the Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications. If it’s not possible for you to complete Cyber Essentials Plus after 20 hours of support, we’ll give you clear directions on how to become assessment ready. 

Is the certification free? 

Yes. IASME has agreed to fund both Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certification for successful applicants to the scheme.

Who is eligible for the scheme? 

To qualify for this scheme, your organisation must be:

  • A micro or small business (1 to 49 employees) that offers legal aid services
  • A micro or small charity (1 to 49 employees) that processes personal data

No previous cybersecurity experience or certification is required. Even if you’re completely new to cybersecurity, we’ll guide you through the process.

How long is the scheme running for? 

The scheme runs until the end of March 2023. However, it’s worth noting that IASME is offering a limited number of funded packages. So it’s worth getting your application in as soon as possible. 

What is Cyber Essentials?

The Cyber Essentials scheme is a UK-government-backed cybersecurity certification that outlines the security procedures a company should have in place to secure its data. Cyber Essentials is highly recommended for SMEs because this certification protects you against 98.5% of the most common cyber threats.

Cyber Essentials Plus includes all of the same technical controls but with one major difference. Whereas Cyber Essentials is a self-assessed certification, Cyber Essentials Plus includes a technical audit of your systems. This next step gives you 

complete peace of mind your cybersecurity is up to scratch. And, your clients and partners don’t have to take your word for it that you’re cyber secure – they can rely on the expertise of a professional.

Can I apply to the scheme through CyberSmart? 

Yes. As the UK’s leading provider of cybersecurity certifications, we’re proud to be taking part in this scheme. 

To apply for the scheme, head to IASME’s Funded Cyber Essentials page and fill in the form at the bottom of the page. If you’re successful in your application, IASME will pass you over to us (or another certification body) to complete the certification process.

Alternatively, if you’re one of our partners or MSPs and want to refer a customer for the scheme, get in touch. We can apply on your client’s behalf and ensure the support and certification is carried out by CyberSmart.

Want to know more about cybersecurity certifications? Check out our in-depth guide to cybersecurity certifications in the UK.

Everything you need to know about the Cyber Essentials price change

Cyber Essentials Price Change

From Monday 24th January, the price of Cyber Essentials is changing. Here’s everything you need to know about what it means for your business.

What’s changing? 

For the first time since its creation seven years ago, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and certification body IASME have announced changes to the price of Cyber Essentials certification.

The change, which goes through on Monday 24th January 2022, includes several additions to the Cyber Essentials question set.

Why is the price of Cyber Essentials increasing? 

The world has changed dramatically since Cyber Essentials was launched seven years ago. Cloud services are now widely used, digital transformation has really taken hold and, of course, many of us are now doing some form of remote or hybrid working.

So, to help businesses better tackle these challenges, IASME and the NCSC have updated the requirements of Cyber Essentials certification. The update includes new requirements for:

  • Cloud services
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Password management 
  • Security updates
  • Working from home

We’ve outlined all of the most important changes below.

Cyber Essentials Price Change
Cyber Essentials Price Change 2

These changes add an extra layer of complexity to certification, particularly for larger organisations. And the new pricing reflects the rigour involved in assessing bigger businesses.

What does this mean for you? 

First, it’s important to state that Cyber Essentials remains one of the best-value things a business can do to improve its cybersecurity. In fact, with the inclusion of the new requirements, Cyber Essentials offers better protection to SMEs than ever before.

In other words, the new look Cyber Essentials gives you more for your money while still remaining affordable for any business.

How is CyberSmart approaching the changes?

Up until 7th March 2022, we will continue to offer Cyber Essentials to all our customers and partners for the same price as before.

In other news, after listening to feedback from our customers,  we’re also launching our new CyberSmart bundles, containing the CyberSmart Dashboard, CyberSmart Active Protect and Cyber Essentials certification in one neat package.

These bundles contain everything your business needs to improve its cybersecurity and stay secure long after certification. To find out more, please get in touch at hello@cybersmart.co.uk or click here.

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