Protect your business against cyber-crime with Government voucher scheme
Westhill based IT firm G5 Technologies Ltd is urging local businesses to take up the government funded Cyber Essentials Voucher Scheme before it runs out.
To help more businesses become cyber secure, Scottish Enterprise are running a Cyber Essentials Voucher Scheme which offers a voucher up to the value of £1000 to support Scottish SME’s achieve their Cyber Essentials certification.
The voucher will give you an opportunity to choose a supplier, such as G5, who will work with you to gain certification and help you through the process.
If your business meets the following criteria you can apply for the Cyber Essentials Voucher:
- You must be a small or medium enterprise (SME) with fewer than 250 employees.
- You must have a registered base in Scotland
- You must operate IT with a connection to the internet
- Your business must not already be Cyber Essentials Certified, vouchers are open to new applicants only.
Kate Wemyss, Director at G5 Technologies Ltd says: “Now more than ever, it’s a question of when, not if, your business will be subject to a cyber-attack. Cyber-attacks are also evolving away from the more traditional phishing emails to the more lucrative “account takeover” of business executive accounts. An attacker will know when you are out of the office and chose this time to target one of your subordinates by impersonating you. They might even know when you are going to make a big purchase and try to redirect the funds or change the order information. Email attacks are becoming so sophisticated and convincing that even the savviest user can be fooled.”
Achieving Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus certification, which is renewed annually, will help protect your organisation against these common everyday threats and potentially give you a significant commercial advantage as it demonstrates you are an organisation with good IT security practices, providing reassurance to your customers that you are working to secure both your IT systems and their data against cyber-attacks.
Ms Wemyss goes on to say: “This is a fantastic opportunity and we are urging Aberdeenshire businesses to make the most of this government funded scheme to enable them to become more Cyber resilient. As time goes on, we can see Cyber Essentials certification being a basic requirement to do business as it is already a requirement if you want to do business with the government or MOD.
Here at G5, we have staff that hold their Accredited Cyber Essentials Practitioner who can deliver Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus and guide you through the process. You really have nothing to lose by applying for the voucher and it is even more important since the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect in May 2018 as there could be hefty fines if your business and any personal data is compromised in an attack. Therefore, for any businesses that hold data, whether it is employee data, suppliers’ information or customer marketing records, the benefits of increased cyber security and data compliance make Cyber Essentials accreditation worthwhile.
Cyber Essentials is recognised by the Information Commissioner’s Office as the standard underpinning the data protection and network security aspects of GDPR compliance and as such should form part of a business’s approach to GDPR compliance.
A growing number of organisations are now actively seeking out partners with Cyber Essentials credentials, as they want to work with suppliers and distributors who can prove their cyber resilience and compliance and therefore can be trusted with their data and becoming Cyber Essentials certified proves that.
“We really want businesses to stop thinking that their company is too small to be affected by cybercrime.”
Implementing Cyber Essentials will help build a more robust defence for your business data and protect your business against the inevitable cyber-attack. Cyber-Criminals don’t just attack big banks and large corporations, they will target any company that isn’t properly protected (even the small businesses) by exploiting basic weaknesses in their IT systems and software. For example, if you are running old Operating Systems like Windows 7 or 8 and out of date versions of office like Office 2016 that are no longer supported, then cyber criminals can find an easy way in”.
The G5 Director concluded by saying: “We need to stop thinking of cyber security as a separate “thing” and adopt it as best IT practice. Think of it as becoming more cyber resilient and bringing the areas of information security, business continuity and resilience together into a more robust and secure IT system. This approach will enable you to operate as normal in the ever-increasing likelihood of a cyber-attack and it is why we are now recommending cyber essentials to all our clients as an important part of their IT security strategy”.
The government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018 found that more than two fifths (43%) of businesses and almost one fifth (19%) of charities experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the previous year. The financial effects of these breaches can obviously be considerable. For a medium-sized business, the average cost of a data breach is just over £16,000 so applying for this voucher is a bit of a no brainer.
What are the benefits of Cyber Essentials certification?
- Protect against approximately 80% of cyber-attacks. Simply implementing the controls correctly will help protect your organisation and any commercially sensitive data.
- Certification visibly demonstrates your commitment to IT security to your business partners, regulators and suppliers that you take cyber security seriously.
- Increase chances of securing business. Cyber security is such a concern that having Certification gives you a competitive advantage over rivals without accreditation.
- Reduce cyber insurance premiums – Cyber insurance agencies look more favorably on organisations that have achieved Cyber Essentials certification.
G5 Technologies Ltd specialise in providing Onshore and Offshore Managed IT services to a variety of sectors including oil and gas, hospitality and finance in and around the Aberdeen area. As part of the Cyber Essentials certification G5 will audit your IT network, systems and processes against the Cyber Essentials criteria to find vulnerabilities and weaknesses and will put in place the necessary measures to ensure you achieve your certification.
If you are a Scottish SME and fit the above criteria, then you can apply for the voucher on the Scottish Enterprise website www.scottish-enterprise.com or contact Kate Wemyss at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.