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What is a Cyber Essentials Certificate, Do I Need One, and How Do I Get One?

Apr 26, 2024


In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is not just a buzzword but a fundamental requirement for businesses of all sizes. Among the various measures to bolster cyber defences, the Cyber Essentials certification stands out. It serves as a robust foundation for increasing and protecting against a variety of the most common cyber threats. But what is a Cyber Essentials Certificate, who needs it, and how can it be obtained? This blog will explore these questions in depth.

What is a Cyber Essentials Certificate?

Cyber Essentials is a government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats. It is also a minimum requirement for bidding for some types of government & other more security-focused organisations contracts, particularly those that handle sensitive and personal information. The scheme focuses on five basic cybersecurity controls that, when implemented correctly, can help prevent around 80% of cyber-attacks.

These controls include secure configuration of systems, boundary firewalls and internet gateways, access control and administrative privilege management, patch management, and malware protection. By adhering to these guidelines, the certificate assures that a business has essential precautions in place to protect against cyber incidents.

Cyber Essentials Certificate by Rabb IT

Do I Need a Cyber Essentials Certificate?

While obtaining a Cyber Essentials certificate is not mandatory for all businesses, it is highly recommended, especially for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may not have extensive cybersecurity measures in place. Additionally, any business that contracts with the UK government in areas involving handling personal and sensitive information must be certified.

The benefits of the certification extend beyond compliance. It significantly boosts a company’s cybersecurity defence capabilities, reduces risk, enhances business reputation, and builds trust with customers by showing a commitment to security. Furthermore, it often gives businesses a competitive edge in tender processes, where cyber security credentials are increasingly valued.

How Do I Get a Cyber Essentials Certificate?

Obtaining a Cyber Essentials certificate involves several clear steps:

Assessment: Understand the specific requirements of the Cyber Essentials scheme. This involves reviewing the current cybersecurity practices against the scheme’s five controls.

Preparation: Before applying, ensure that all the necessary cybersecurity measures are in place as per the scheme’s guidelines.

Application: Apply through an accredited Cyber Essentials certification body. A list of accredited bodies can be found on the official Cyber Essentials website.

Certification: After submitting the application, an independent assessment will be conducted by the certification body. If compliant, the business will receive the Cyber Essentials certificate.

Maintenance: Cybersecurity is an ongoing process. Maintaining the standards set by Cyber Essentials is crucial for continuous protection and must be reviewed annually.

Resources and support are available from numerous accredited bodies that can guide businesses through each step of the process, ensuring that they meet all the necessary criteria for certification.


The Cyber Essentials certification is an asset for any business looking to improve its cybersecurity posture. By understanding what it is, evaluating if it is necessary for your operations, and following the steps to obtain and maintain the certificate, businesses can significantly enhance their defences against cyber threats. Consider this certification as an investment in your business’s security and future.

This structured approach provides clarity and actionable insights for businesses on the journey to becoming cyber secure.

If you need help applying for your Cyber Essentials Certificate or for more information, please get in touch.

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