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What are the key differences between Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus?
The main differences between the two certifications lie in the level of assessment and assurance they provide:
- Self-Assessment vs Independent Assessment: Cyber Essentials involves a self-assessment question filled out by whomever is seeking the certification, whereas the Cyber Essential plus certification requires an independent assessment performed by external certifiers who conduct vulnerability scans and technical tests.
- Higher Assurance: Due to the more rigorous testing and assessment process, Cyber Essentials Plus offers a higher level of assurance to both your organisation and your stakeholders regarding the effectiveness of your cyber security measures.
- Depth of Testing: Cyber Essentials Plus goes beyond the questionnaire and examines your businesses cybersecurity measures thoroughly. This includes on-site assessments, simulated cyber attacks and internal and external vulnerability scans.
Which certification is suitable for my business?
Cyber Essentials Certification is ideal for:
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): SMEs often have limited resources, and Cyber Essentials provides a cost-effective way to enhance your cybersecurity posture.
Startups and New Businesses: Implementing Cyber Essentials from the outset can establish a strong security foundation as you grow.
Businesses with Limited IT Expertise: Cyber Essentials’ straightforward requirements make it accessible for businesses that have limited technical knowledge.
Companies Pursuing Government Contracts: Many government contracts require Cyber Essentials certification as a prerequisite.
Cyber Essentials Plus Certification is suitable for:
Larger Enterprises: businesses with a complex IT infrastructure and a higher risk profile may benefit from the more rigorous assessment offered by Cyber Essentials Plus.
Businesses Holding Sensitive Data: If you deal with sensitive customer information or valuable intellectual property, Cyber Essentials Plus provides an extra layer of confidence in your security measures.
Businesses Seeking Stronger Assurance: Cyber Essentials Plus offers a more thorough evaluation of cybersecurity defences, providing a higher level of assurance to your stakeholders.
Companies Requiring Supplier Certification: If you supply services to other companies, Cyber Essentials Plus can enhance your reputation as a secure and trustworthy partner.
To conclude, both Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications play important roles in strengthening your business against cyber threats. Cyber Essentials is a foundational certification that can assist businesses in establishing essential cybersecurity practices and fain trust among clients. Cyber Essentials Plus provides a more robust assessment to offer higher assurance to stakeholders and tackle advanced threats.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can we achieve Cyber Essentials Plus without first passing the Cyber Essentials assessment?
No, you must first pass the Cyber Essentials assessment before getting your Cyber Essentials Plus certification, as this builds upon the requirements and controls set by the first level of assessment, making it necessary to achieve the basic certification before pursuing the Plus level.
Are the Cyber Essentials certifications valid for a lifetime?
No, they are valid for one year from the date of issue. You must undergo recertification annually to maintain your certified status.
How long does it take to obtain the certification?
This entirely depends on your existing cybersecurity measures and readiness. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on how prepared you are.