The Cyber Essentials programme offers businesses a simple yet effective structure for defence against cyberattacks. Obtaining Cyber Essentials certification is one of the first actions any organisation can take to safeguard their digital assets and customer data, and it provides the mandatory certification needed to participate in UK government supply chain contracts.

Achieving Cyber Essentials certification demands preparation, company investment in time, money, and some technical knowledge, much like all other certified certifications.

Firewalls, secure configuration, user access controls, security update management, and malware management are the five security controls that make up Cyber Essentials.

Additionally, we have created a condensed Cyber Essentials checklist based on the five control sets that you may use to determine whether your company is prepared for certification.

Why do you need a Cyber Essentials Checklist?

You are safeguarded from a wide range of the most typical cyber attacks with the help of basic anti virus software and data protection software. This is crucial because being vulnerable to simple attacks might single you out for more intrusive unwanted attention from cyber criminals and others.

Because most common cyberattacks aim for targets that don’t have the Cyber Essentials technical controls in place, certification gives you piece of mind that your defences will defend against the great majority of typical cyberattacks.

Cyber Essentials teaches you how to take care of these fundamentals and defend against the most frequent threats.

5 security controls of Cyber Essentials

The majority of cyberattacks, i.e., those that target networks without Cyber Essentials security safeguards, are guaranteed to be protected from by the Cyber Essentials Certification. These restrictions can be divided into five groups:

The Cyber Essentials scheme teaches you how to take care of these fundamentals and defend against the most frequent cyber threats.


All devices with internet connectivity must have a firewall installed in order to comply with the Cyber Essentials Scheme. Between the network/device inside your company and the outside networks, firewalls form a “buffer zone.” Make that firewalls are turned on in end user devices and that port opening and shutting are authorised and documented.

Firewalls monitor attempts by unauthorised traffic to access the operating system of your client. Between computers and other networks, they create barriers.

Additionally, firewalls manage and verify your client’s network access as traffic controllers. Most operating systems and security programmes come with a firewall already installed.

Managed service providers (MSPs) can simplify host-level protection by using firewalls to take the guesswork out of it. Malware and application-layer attacks will be prevented by firewalls with integrated intrusion prevention systems. Additionally, they detect assaults across your whole network and respond swiftly and flawlessly.

Secure configuration

A network, device, or software’s default settings cannot be regarded as secure since they frequently make use of an administrator account with an easily crackable default password. Have all unneeded user accounts and software been disabled and uninstalled? The institution’s computers and network hardware should be configured for maximum security.

Accepting default settings that are easily exploitable can make it simple for attackers to access a company’s data without authorization and has the potential to result in catastrophic data loss.

Security breaches are frequently caused by security configuration errors. For instance, in 2019, 45% of all breaches were attributable to mistakes or misconfigurations.

User access control

Maintaining user accounts helps prevent abuse and unauthorised access which helps achieve cyber essentials, especially for those with special access credentials. Do you consistently monitor admin accounts and enforce user permissions regulations? Only authorised users should be given access to accounts, and they should only have the barest of privileges on computers, networks, and applications.

Access control can be defined as the selective limitation of access to data. It is made up of two components:

  1. Authentication – Confirming the user’s identity.
  2. Authorisation – Helps determine if a user should have access to data


Access control needs strict policies to be enforced in order to work effectively. Since the majority of businesses operate in hybrid setups where data can travel freely between on-premises servers, the Cloud, physical offices, and other locations, this can be challenging.

Based on the nature and sensitivity of the data they are processing, organisations must choose the most suitable access control model to implement.

Security updates and management

Patch management resolves cyber-attack-vulnerabilities in your software and apps, lowering the security risk for your company. Patch management ensures your programmes are current and function properly, supporting system uptime.

Regulating organisations may fine your company money if it is not patching and, as a result, is not adhering to compliance rules. Cyber essentials certified compliance is ensured through effective patch management.

Malware protection

All devices with internet connectivity should have anti-malware software installed by organisations. Malware is purposely developed and disseminated to use systems in an unauthorised manner.

Malicious downloads, email attachments, and unauthorised programme installations are a few examples of malware origins. Verify that antivirus and malware protection are up to date.

Based on technical characteristics that are typical of malware, such as attempting to “hidden” on a computer, good antivirus protection may also identify and warn against even previously undiscovered malware threats. Strong antivirus software also recognises and alerts users to dangerous websites, particularly ones that might be used for common cyber attacks such as “phishing” (a technique that tricks users into entering passwords or account numbers).

Looking For Expert Managed IT & Data Security Services?

By following this guide, you can contribute to the cybercrime protection of your company as well as being eligible for cyber essentials certification . Businesses might suffer tremendous losses as a result of cyberattacks, so you should take every precaution to avoid them. Employee training, data backup, and purchasing cyber security insurance are all excellent strategies to safeguard your company.

If you’re looking for expert data security management or small business IT support, get in touch with us today. Our team of experts can help you to keep your data safe from cyber threats.

Contact us today to find out more about our services!