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Date: 13/09/2016

Cyber crime is one of the biggest threats facing businesses today: around two thirds of UK businesses were hit by a cyber breach or attack in the past year, yet the percentage of firms that took action to identify and address their vulnerabilities was significantly lower.

The government classes cyber crime as a tier one threat, and it is essential that businesses wake up to the real risks that they face.
Because the consequences of a cyber attack are so significant, cyber accreditation is becoming an increasingly important part of contracts. Accreditation is mandatory in MoD contracts and it is likely that in the future it will be required for other government contracts and in supply chains. Becoming accredited, for example through the government approved Cyber Essentials scheme, will also boost a company‘s profile, show a commitment to IT and data security, and ensures clients that your business can be trusted with sensitive information.
Businesses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are being encouraged to get cyber accredited through Cyber Essentials, now being offered online through Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the leading accreditation body, IASME.
Cyber Essentials consists of five main elements which are estimated to stop up to 80% of cyber attacks; Boundary firewalls and internet gateways; Secure configuration; Access control; Malware protection; and Patch management. The scheme is self assessed via an online form - no uploading of evidence, vulnerability scan or site visit is required and companies can review the questions for free before they start the assessment, which costs £300.

In addition to the basic certification, the scheme also provides optional certification against the IASME governance standard, recognised by the MoD in the Cyber Security Model. The basic fee covers automatic cyber liability insurance for UK domiciled organisation with less than £20m turnover (terms apply).

Chris Pinder, Business Engagement Manager at Worcestershire Business Central, said: “The Government classes cyber crime as a Tier one threat and the statistics show that all businesses are at risk, regardless of size. The need to address this risk is gaining momentum amongst businesses in the two counties, but there is still a long way to go. Cyber Essentials consists of five elements that should be a top priority for every business; I thoroughly recommend any business to get accredited through Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and ISAME.”
To apply for Cyber Essentials and to find out more, please click here