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Cyber security compliance - why you need to act now

With the increasing number and severity of cyber-attacks, cyber security compliance has never been higher up on the agenda.

And because of the pandemic, many people now operate from home making them more exposed to data breaches and hacking, while adding to vulnerabilities within your business. Indeed, human error is the main cause of 95% of breaches (source: usecure).

If a security breach takes place, then businesses are compelled by law to take necessary action. In the event that a company does not comply with regulatory requirements, fines and penalties may be imposed which can be significant.

As a result, in addition to taking their own compliance more seriously, companies are looking within their own supply chains to mitigate risk. And we are certainly seeing an increasing number of our clients asking for help with Cyber Security Supply Chain Audits.

We have for some time strongly advocated a ‘security-first approach’ and we recommend your business, whether large or small, adopts a cyber security standard to provide your customers with an assurance that their data is in safe hands, while ensuring that your business is as prepared as it can be and complies with the regulations.

What are the benefits?

By becoming cyber security compliant there are many advantages. For starters, you will avoid hefty fines, but you’ll also build trust with your customers and business partners.

It also promotes transparency and accountability, all great virtues when doing business. Furthermore, you’ll also be protecting your reputation, taking proactive action to reduce business interruption and loss of business, and all while strengthening your internal business processes.

What is cybersecurity compliance?

Cybersecurity compliance involves establishing risk-based controls to safeguard the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data stored, processed, or transferred. And by implementing appropriate safeguards and security measures to protect sensitive customer and employee information you’ll strengthen your company’s security position.

So what data is in the scope of compliance?

Cybersecurity and data protection regulations are primarily concerned with the safeguarding of personal information related to individuals. There’s also protected health information comprising details about an individual’s health history or treatments, and payment card information used to handle payments.

As a business, you may need to consider all these data sets as part of your compliance, depending on your area of operation of course, and there are different regulations dealing with the various aspects, such as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Recommended accreditation

The Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation schemes are government-backed programs that require businesses to have certain standards and measures in place to ensure you understand the risks. The UK public sector has made it a mandatory item covering security requirements to be eligible for contracts and work through its marketplace framework GCloud.

Cyber Essentials (CE) Certification is a self-assessment questionnaire, covering five key technical controls, that is then submitted to a certification body. In addition to ensuring cyber security hygiene for most common attacks, it's a good starting point for businesses starting on their cyber security journey. So irrespective of whether it is for a government entity, an SME or a large corporation, any organisation can be judged by the same benchmark.

How can we help?

We can assist you in defining the controls and collating the information required to attain CE Certification and we work with a Certification Body called IASME to help achieve this. We can also help you to maintain the right tools to ensure compliance with GDPR legislation, such as encrypted file storage and security best practises to protect you against data breaches.

Additionally, we can undertake an advanced risk assessment on the technologies you use and the systems and structures of your business, while working with you to ensure that policy documentation is in order and compliant with appropriate standards.

At the very least, we strongly recommend getting cyber insurance in place for your business. The answers you give to the questions on sign-up will affect the premium, so even more reason to get your cyber security compliance in order.

Please act now and take a proactive approach to achieving compliance.

To discuss your own situation please email us or call us on 01625 613 633.

Further Reading:

National Cyber Security Centre – Cyber Essentials >
iTG Technologies - Cyber Security Attack Planning >
ESET E-book – how to prepare for a cyberattack >
IASME - Cyber Essentials Questions Set >
iTG Technologies – Cyber Security Checklist >
National Cyber Security Centre – 10 steps to cyber security >