Government Pushes Cyber Essentials Security Certificate Programme

The government is ramping up its efforts to encourage companies to take cyber security as a serious concern, with it expanding its ambitions for Cyber Essentials.

Matt Hancock, the minister for digital and culture, said the government will now require all of its contractors to obtain a Cyber Essentials certificate to provide that they are secure.

The likes of BT, Barclays, and Vodafone joined the government in this missive and will be adopting the same cyber security tactics.

Cyber Essentials is essentially a programme designed to ensure companies are adopting best practices in cyber security, though achieving a certificate to prove that requires assessment from an independent party.

The goal of the programme is to ensure that organisations have basic but solid cyber security in place to prevent them from being easily breached by malicious actors or opportunistic hackers.

Government cyber security push

“GCHQ analysis shows the vast majority of cyber attacks exploit basic, known vulnerabilities, like passwords and admin access policies. Cyber Essentials shows you how to address those vulnerabilities. It’s simple, low cost and specifically designed for SMEs. All firms which rely on the internet should have Cyber Essentials – as a minimum,” said Hanock, speaking at the Institute of Directors.

“The Government thinks this is so important we now require all our suppliers which handle sensitive data to hold a Cyber Essentials certificate.”

“My message today is clear: if you’re not concentrating on cyber, you are courting chaos and catering to criminals,” he added, re-enforcing the point that the government is getting serious about the roles cyber security plays in its over all strategy of encouraging digital transformation in the public sector and supporting the rise of technology companies on British soil.

Hancock also reiterated the work the government is doing with cyber security and its ambitions to train future security specialists, raise awareness of the dangers posed by cyber security and support startups working working on security products and services.

He also highlighted the government’s plans to open two cyber security centres in the UK designed to support the development of security focussed startups.

Quiz: The world of cyber security in 2017

Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

View Comments

  • it's a sensible step, however, what on earth makes the UK government think that Contractors will want to work for them at all, let alone accept additional paperwork burdens, given the mandatory IR35 situation that's about to unfold in April?

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