Cyber Essentials certification

Cyber Essentials is beneficial for organisations large and small. 

Cyber Essentials is a UK Government-backed certification for any organisation in the UK to achieve a minimum standard to keep your data, systems and users safe. The cost of certification is generally not a lot – typically £300 from the certification body and a day or two of time from your IT provider to assist you in making decisions about the security of your IT systems.

Three steps to certification

  1. Select a Certification Body through one of the Accreditation Bodies.

  2. Verify that your IT is suitably secure and meets the standards set by Cyber Essentials - your Certification Body can help with this.

  3. Complete the questionnaire - your Certification Body will provide this and verify your answers. Once you’ve passed, you will be award your Cyber Essentials certificate.

The process in more detail

Selecting a Certification body

Your first port of call is our Directory of Accreditation Bodies. Read the details about each of these and choose one which feels like a good fit for your organisation.

Once you have selected an Accreditation Body, click through to their websites and their directory of Certification Bodies. It is the Certification Bodies which will perform your evaluation and award your Cyber Essentials Certificate.

Verify your IT is suitably secure

Cyber Essentials has a detailed set of requirements for your Information Technology. You will need to make sure your systems and software meet these before you move on to the next stage of certification.

You may be required to supply various forms of evidence before your chosen Certification Body can award certification at the level you seek.

Complete the self-assessment questionnaire

Having understood the requirements which Cyber Essentials puts on the installation, configuration and maintenance of your IT, you are ready to complete the Certification questionnaire and submit this to your Certification Body. The actual questionnaire which you complete will be supplied by your Certification Body.

What is an Accreditation Body?

Our five Accreditation Bodies have been specially selected by the NCSC to oversee Cyber Essentials. They recruit and manage our numerous Certification Bodies, ensuring the standards which we have set down for the scheme are met.

Each Accreditation Body:

  1. Produces a questionnaire for their Certification Bodies to use when certifying
  2. Has a process for auditing its Certification Bodies in place
  3. Verifies that all of their Certification Bodies meet the NCSC’s demanding level of technical competence
  4. Is audited at least every 12 months by the NCSC

Directory of Accreditation Bodies

To choose a Certification Body, first select one of the five Accreditation Bodies listed below. Then click through to the directory of their associated Certification Bodies.

Moving offices

Moving offices is about lots of preparation and good planning...

We have helped many of our clients move offices over the years. From simple moves into serviced accommodation to much more complex builds or fit-outs – we've got a wide range of experience and a little bit of wisdom that comes from some of the highs and lows of watching our clients move offices.

We thought we'd share some of our top-tips and a lesson or two we've learned along the way...

two people moving boxes

1. Time is everything + talk to your IT provider sooner rather than later

We'd always suggest talking to us or to your IT provider as soon as you can, depending on your size and the scale of the move you're contemplating, sometimes even before you've signed a lease.

There will always be considerations in relation to IT that can be almost deal-breaking so the sooner you talk about the possibilities and costs involved the better. We talk more shortly about internet access but one of our two of our clients have moved without considering the availability or cost of internet access.

2. You will probably want to think about how you'll access the internet

Whatever type of organisation you are, you're probably going to need internet access in your new office.

  • For smaller organisations: make sure that fast internet access is available either via your new landlord, or from BT / Virgin etc. Do ask your IT provider to run this check for you as a simple postcode search can give you very misleading information. Don't underestimate the effect that a traditional (8Mbps) internet connection will have on your productivity...!
  • For larger organisations: remember that leased-lines take at least 3 months to install – there are creative ways this timetable can be made to be less of a risk, but in our experience, the leased-line install can be a stressful part of the process. Read our article on internet access to get more of an idea of some of the practicalities of leased line installations and costs.
  • When moving into serviced offices: make sure you've got a price on the type / speed of internet access you need. In our experience internet access can be extortionately priced in some managed offices, so much so that they can make seemingly more expensive offices more affordable.

3. Thinking about cabling, WiFi etc.

The important thing is that the internal networking has formed part of your consideration or planning in moving offices. We've got to a point now where WiFi can be entirely relied upon provided it's nicely setup and connects to a nice fast internet connection. 

The reason we say 'nice fast internet connection' is that sometimes WiFi can be the straw that breaks the camels back if you're somewhere where the internet is marginal or slow. In such cases traditional wired ethernet networks are going to be what you need but again – your IT provider can help to understand the dynamics and risks.

4. Maybe you could think about some snazzy new tech?

A new office might be the point to get a nice big screen in your new meeting room, good audio visual facilities in place, or what about wall-mounted tablets to allow people to see when rooms or meeting spaces are free / available to be booked. 

There's lots of nice new tech available that doesn't cost very much and can really boost your team's productivity, utility and happiness. We recommend:

  • For big screens – what about a Sony Bravia 50" or 55" TV, they look sharp, stylish and understated, they cost around £450 ex VAT. 
  • For wireless streaming – use MiraCast built into your laptop + the Sony Bravia we recommend to stream what's on your laptop onto the TV. For more seamless arrangements consider a Solstice Pod from Mersive.
  • For Meeting Room booking systems – we've had great results with Meeting Room 365 it integrates beautifully with Office 365 or G Suite and costs just $5/month for a license to connect most tablets to it.
  • For a little bit of fun – why not consider an Amazon Echo, it's always nice to chat to Alexa and with a couple of connected systems (like some Philips Hue lightbulbs) it can be rather impressive for visitors when you ask Alexa to dim the lights.

5. What about phones?

Our advice is to use an office move as an opportunity to consider a change of phone platform and/or provider. We don't provide phone services ourselves but we can heartily recommend one or two different providers that do – the crux of it, is that many organisations overpay for telephony and an office move is a good point to change.

office in the building evening

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We have learned a lot over the years, and we hope that our insights will help you and your organisation get the best out of IT.