How to Get Cyber Essentials Certification in 2024

Gowsika

Gowsika

Jan 04, 2024

How to Get Cyber Essentials Certification in 2024

According to a recent report by IBM, the average data breach cost was $4.45 million in 2023. This staggering figure emphasizes the critical importance of robust cybersecurity practices for all organizations. For SaaS entities managing sensitive user data, obtaining accreditation with the Cyber Essentials certification signifies a dedicated adherence to stringent security standards, instilling trust among their customer base. 

Attaining this certification goes beyond mere compliance; it serves as a shield fortifying an organization’s digital infrastructure, safeguarding data integrity, and upholding credibility within the competitive market landscape. This blog aims to elucidate the steps required to obtain Cyber Essentials certification in 2024.

What is Cyber Essential?


Cyber Essential is a compliance framework that offers a fundamental set of standards and assessments to foster cybersecurity practices within UK companies. It is backed by the UK government. These guidelines provide a structured approach for organizations to implement technical and administrative controls, establishing a baseline for cybersecurity resilience. 

What is Cyber Essential certification?

Cyber Essentials Certification is a cybersecurity program regulated by The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) that guarantees businesses possess crucial processes to fortify their systems and protect customer data. This certification encompasses an imperative self-assessment questionnaire, which addresses five key technical controls necessary for robust protection.


Assisting businesses in meeting industry standards and regulatory obligations—especially those that handle sensitive information, this certification demonstrates an organization’s commitment to bolstering its IT infrastructure against cyber threats. Offering two levels of certification, Cyber Essentials establishes fundamental controls to thwart the escalating menace of cyber-attacks.

How does Cyber Essentials work?

Cyber Essentials operates around five fundamental controls to fortify organizations against prevalent cyber threats. These five critical controls are the cornerstone of its functionality:

How does Cyber Essentials work?


  1. Boundary firewalls and internet gateways: Establishing secure boundaries for network connections.
  2. Secure configuration: Ensuring systems are configured to provide the utmost security.
  3. User access control: Managing and restricting access to essential data and services.
  4. Malware protection: Implementing measures to safeguard against malware and other malicious software.
  5. Security update management: Continuously updating and refining security measures to address known vulnerabilities.

Additionally, they gain access to an exclusive online community focused on protecting against cyber threats, fostering a collaborative environment for ongoing security enhancement.

Also check: 15 Best Cybersecurity tools in 2024

The Cyber Essential certification process

The Cyber Essentials certification process involves several crucial steps to bolster cybersecurity readiness for organizations.

The Cyber Essential certification process


Align your prerequisites: Before initiating the certification process, organizations should possess crucial resources and systems that meet Cyber Essentials requirements. This readiness includes completing several steps including software updates, vulnerability management, and access control management. An essential part of this preparatory phase is creating an action plan derived from the Cyber Essentials Questionnaire.

Complete the self-assessment questionnaire: The initial step toward Cyber Essentials certification involves addressing a detailed self-assessment questionnaire. This questionnaire evaluates the five crucial security controls—firewalls, secure configuration, access control, malware protection, and patch management. Organizations must respond to inquiries regarding their current security measures and substantiate their answers with evidence to achieve certification.

Perform external assessment: After conducting the internal self-assessment, an external evaluation is performed by an independent certification body. This assessment involves reviewing responses and performing a vulnerability scan on the organization’s systems. The certification is awarded upon confirming compliance with the mandated standards and guidelines.

Implement suggested recommendations: Upon identifying weaknesses in the organization’s security measures, the certification body suggests recommendations for improvement; it is imperative that these suggestions are implemented by organizations within a specified timeframe—an action necessary to uphold their Cyber Essentials certification.

Annual renewal: Maintaining Cyber Essentials certification necessitates annual renewal. Organizations are required to conduct a yearly self-assessment questionnaire and undergo a fresh external assessment. This process ensures continuous compliance and improvement in cybersecurity practices.

The Sprinto Advantage

The easiest way to ensure your Cyber Essentials certification are in place and your certification, is through an adoption of a compliance automation platform like Sprinto that helps you navigate requirements and mandates. Additionally, it may enable you to save time and a substantial amount of money to get certified.


Sprinto, establishes policies and controls by scanning your IT environment for vulnerabilities to detect weaknesses or high-risk practices. Next, it automates evidence collection and risk reduction tasks, ensuring a prompt response to potential threats. Finally, Sprinto recommends patching security gaps, enabling continuous monitoring to mitigate risks effectively.”

Get your cyber essentials certification with Sprinto

Advantages of obtaining Cyber Essential Certification

When data breaches make customers leave, having strong cybersecurity is very important. Cyber Essentials Certification shows your commitment and helps build trust with partners, clients, and stakeholders. Here are a few benefits of getting this certification:

Enhanced security protocols: Compliance with Cyber Essentials will allow organizations to build resilience and reduce exposure to threats. This approach is useful to businesses because it enables them to create response plans and procedures to enable them to handle crises, reduce damages, and return to normal business operations in case an incident occurs.

Advantages of obtaining Cyber Essential Certification


Protects from financial consequences: Cybersecurity attacks and breaches will result in significant financial consequences, such as expenses for data breach resolution, hiring cybersecurity specialists for analysis, legal expenses, and more. By acquiring a Cyber Essentials certification, one can improve their cybersecurity measures by significantly mitigating potential financial losses spawned by impending breaches.

Cyber Insurance perks: Cyber Insurance providers often reduce premiums of certified organizations in acknowledgment of the enhanced security measures they have implemented. This recognition effectively mitigates potential financial risks associated with cyber incidents.

Gives you a competitive advantage: Being certified allows organizations to display that they are accredited and reassures clients or partners of their data security when collaborating with your organization. This boosts the company’s credibility by showing customers their information is secure, attracting more clients, and giving you an edge over your competitors.

Exclusive support: Obtaining the certification enables you to access an exclusive cyber security network— a dedicated community that offers extensive resources, tools, and insights for continuous security enhancement. 

How is much does it cost to acquire the Cyber Essentials certification?

The price for Cyber Essentials certification will depend on the size of an organization, the certification body that is chosen, the support necessities, if possible, and any additional services offered by the body. A breakdown of costs for a typical enterprise.

  • For micro businesses of (0-9 employees) the cost is £300+VAT.
  • For small companies of  (10 – 49 employees) the cost is at £400 plus VAT.
  • For small enterprises that have approximately 50 – 249 employees costs £450 plus VAT.
  • For large corporations with more than 250 employees, it takes £500 plus VAT to obtain certification.

To find the quote regarding these services, you should contact the certification bodies or the accredited Cyber Essentials assessors according to your organization’s requirements.

How long does a cyber essential certification take?

The time taken for a company to get Cyber Essentials certification depends on its audit readiness, existing cyber resilience measures, and how fast it will complete the requirements that comply with this scheme. The procedure will normally take several weeks or just a few days to a couple of weeks. This will depend on the type of security controls and the extent they are available.

Conclusion

Achieving Cyber Essentials certification is more than just a compliance requirement. it’s a strategic investment in safeguarding your organization’s digital integrity and ensuring resilience against evolving cyber threats.

Sprinto‘s smart compliance automation software enables you to get a comprehensive analysis of your overall cyber security posture, maps entity-level controls, runs risk assessments, ticks all compliance requirements from an intuitive health dashboard, and helps you achieve your cyber essentials certification within weeks.

FAQs

How does Cyber Essentials differ from Cyber Essentials Plus?

Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus are two levels of certification under the Cyber Essentials scheme:

Cyber Essentials involves a self-assessment process that covers fundamental cybersecurity controls like firewalls, secure configurations, access control, malware protection, and patch management. 

Cyber Essentials Plus is an extended version of Cyber Essentials that includes a more rigorous examination conducted by an accredited assessor. While both certifications aim to amplify cybersecurity measures, Cyber Essentials Plus offers a higher assurance by verifying the effectiveness of these security controls through practical testing and validation.

What is the duration of the Cyber Essentials certification?

The Cyber Essentials certification remains valid for one year. After this period, organizations must renew their certification to retain access to the Cyber Essentials logo and the dedicated online community.

Is Cyber Essentials Mandatory?

Although not mandatory for all businesses, certain situations necessitate Cyber Essentials certification. For instance, organizations aiming to bid on a particular government contract should have Cyber Essentials certification. These contracts often involve managing personal data or providing IT products and services, making the certification a requisite.

Gowsika

Gowsika

Gowsika is an avid reader and storyteller who untangles the knotty world of compliance and cybersecurity with a dash of charming wit! While she’s not decoding cryptic compliance jargon, she’s oceanside, melody in ears, pondering life’s big (and small) questions. Your guide through cyber jungles, with a serene soul and a sharp pen!

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