Cyber Essentials:


Assume you're a small business owner who worked tirelessly to establish a business and earn a reputation for producing excellent goods and services. However, one day you notice that your company's website is hacked, your customer data is stolen, and your reputation has been destroyed completely. You're devastated and confused about what to do next.

This is where Cyber Essentials enters. It is similar to putting armor on your business to protect it from cyber threats. Cyber Essentials safeguards your business from cyber risks in the same way that a knight would wear armor in battle.

Cyber Essentials is essentially divided into two levels: fundamental and advanced.

At the most fundamental level, you will learn how to protect your company against the most common cyber threats, such as malware, phishing, and hacking. You will learn how to secure your network, protect your data, and train your employees on cyber security.

At the advanced level, you shall learn how to protect your business from more advanced cyber threats, such as insider threats and advanced persistent threats. You would learn to implement more advanced security measures, such as multi-factor authentication and network segmentation.

By implementing Cyber Essentials, you shall not only protect your business from cyber threats but also send your customers a message that you take cybersecurity seriously. This can help to promote trust and confidence in your brand, leading to higher sales and revenue.

Thus, Cyber Essentials is like a suit of armor for your business, protecting it from cyber threats and helping to build trust with your customers. Whether you own a small business or a huge company, implementing Cyber Essentials is a key step towards protecting the business and securing its future.

There we can conclude that all organizations require a simple effective scheme to help them protect against a range of most prevalent cyber-attacks. Cyber Essentials is the first step in assisting the organization in meeting current and future security concerns. It is a basic stratagem supported by the UK Government that aids in the protection of organizations of all sizes against a variety of the most prevalent cyber-attacks.

The Cyber Essentials certification is a low-cost, high-value means of illustrating that appropriate security controls are in place. Our Valency Networks team shall help achieve Cyber Essentials Certifications thus assisting our clients to avoid the weaknesses and address the vulnerabilities before criminal hackers may exploit them.

Getting the organization Cyber Essentials certified shall provide them with a variety of advantages, including improved security, competitive advantage, regulatory compliance, and risk reduction. These outcomes shall assist businesses to protect themselves against cyber threats and enhance their reputation and overall cybersecurity posture.

Valency Networks is rated as a top information security company in India and abroad because we work tirelessly day in day out in ensuring that your organization gets protected from the cyber-attacks and gets the applicable safeguards so that the organization gets its security posture with which Valency Networks partners. Our customers refer us to other customers that is because of our subject matter expertise, responsiveness, and support.

Purpose of getting certified

  • Ensure clients that you are working to secure your IT against cyber-attacks.
  • Attract new businesses by committing to implement cyber security measures.
  • You have a comprehensive overview of your company's cyber security.
  • Cyber Essentials certification is required for several government contracts in UK

  • The new version of Cyber Essentials upgraded in April 2023 comprises of:

    • The definition of "software" has been updated to clarify that firmware is also in scope.
    • The importance of asset management is emphasized in Cyber Essentials.
    • The guidance on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is now included as a reference.
    • It has been clarified that third-party devices are also included in Cyber Essentials.
    • The "Device unlocking" section has been updated to reflect that some configurations cannot be changed due to restrictions imposed by the vendor.
    • The "Malware protection" section has been updated.
    • New information has been added regarding the impact of using a zero-trust architecture on Cyber Essentials.

    Here are the categories and sub-categories of Cyber Essentials:

    1. Boundary Firewalls and Internet Gateways
      • Firewalls
      • Network Address Translation (NAT)
      • Default passwords
    2. Secure Configuration
      • Password policy
      • User account control
      • Malware protection
      • Patch management
    3. Secure Update Management
      • Software updates
      • Operating system updates
    4. Access Control
      • Administrator access
      • User access control
      • Remote access
    5. Malware Protection
      • Antivirus software
      • Email filtering
    In addition to the above categories, Cyber Essentials Plus also includes a vulnerability scan and an internal assessment of an organization's network security.

    Differences between Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus:

    Cyber Essentials Cyber Essentials Plus
    Scope of assessment Self-assessment Includes all components of Cyber Essentials, plus an internal assessment and penetration testing
    Assurance level Fundamental Advance
    Certification validity 1 Year 1 year with additional quarterly external vulnerability scans to maintain certification
    Assessment components 1. Boundary firewalls and internet gateways.
    2. Secure configuration.
    3. Secure Update Management.
    4. Access control.
    5. Malware protection.
    1. Boundary firewalls and internet gateways
    2. Secure configuration
    3. Secure Update Management
    4. Access control
    5. Malware protection
    6. Internal assessment and penetration testing
    Certification requirements Completed self-assessment questionnaire and external vulnerability scan conducted by an approved certification body Same as Cyber Essentials, plus additional internal assessment and penetration testing


    From small-scale startups to established and growing businesses, our experience in Cyber Essentials comes handy while assisting any organization to avoid the consequences of:

  • Phishing attacks
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Password guessing
  • Network attacks

  • Hence, by implementing the Cyber Essentials controls, it is easy to implement and design to guard against these attacks and protect organizations from unintended cyber-attacks.

    Introducing the Technical Controls


    Aim: The organization shall ensure that computers and network devices are appropriately configured to: reduce vulnerabilities and provide only the services necessary to fulfil their functions.

    About: Firewalls prevent unauthorized access to and from private networks, but they must be properly configured to be effective.

    A boundary firewall is a network device limiting incoming and outgoing network traffic to services on its computer and cellphone network. It could help in safeguarding against cyber-attacks which allow or deny traffic based on its source, destination, and communication protocol type.

    Alternatively, if your company does not manage the network to which a device connects, software firewalls must be installed on the device. This functions similarly to a boundary firewall, however, it solely protects the single device on which it is configured.

    The security provided by the firewall could be customized just like any other control function (in other words, the firewall rules).


    A properly designed firewall is required to protect all devices, hence

    • Change the administrative interface's default passwords
    • Disable internet access
    • Block unauthenticated inbound connections
    • Utilize a software firewall ( while using untrusted networks, such as public Wi-Fi hotspots)


    Aim: The organization shall ensure that only secure and essential network services are accessed via the Internet.

    About: Configurations of web servers and application servers are critical in cyber security. Failure to manage your servers' appropriate configuration might result in a wide range of security issues.

    We shall always configure computer systems and network devices to reduce vulnerabilities and only offer services that are needed.

    This would assist in the prevention of unauthorized activities also ensuring that each device discloses as little information to the Internet as possible.


    Organizations should proactively manage their computers and network devices to prevent cyber-attacks. They should

    • Remove unnecessary accounts
    • Change default passwords
    • Disable unnecessary software,
    • Authenticate before granting access to organizational data or services

    If a user's physical presence is required to access a device, a credential such as a

    • Biometric
    • Password
    • The PIN must be in place and protected against brute-force attacks.

    Technical controls should be used to manage the quality of credentials.

    Password requirements shall also be applied to device unlocking credentials if they are also used for authentication.


    Aim: The Company shall ensure that devices and software are not vulnerable to known security issues for which patches are available.

    About: Technical vulnerabilities exist in all devices and software. Once found and publicly disclosed, cybercriminals can quickly exploit the vulnerabilities.

    Criminal hackers exploit known vulnerabilities in operating systems and third-party applications if they are not properly patched or updated.

    Updating software and operating systems will assist to address these identified issues.

    It is essential to complete this as swiftly as possible to close any loopholes in access.


    Following are the requirements for organizations to keep their software up-to-date to prevent cyber attacks

    • All software and devices within the scope of Cyber Essentials should be licensed, supported, and have automatic updates enabled
    • If the software becomes unsupported, it must be removed or placed in a defined subset that prevents all traffic to and from the internet.
    • Software shall also be updated within 14 days of a critical or high-risk vulnerability being identified by the vendor or if the update addresses vulnerabilities with a CVSS v3 base score of 7 or above
    • Any manual configuration changes required to make the update effective should also be applied within 14 days


    Aim: The Company shall ensure that user accounts: are only allocated to authorized individuals permit access to only the applications, computers and networks required for the user's function.

    About: Hence, we shall always try to limit access to our data and services. This shall prevent a criminal hacker from having free access to our information.

    Criminals want to get administrator privileges to hack into apps and access sensitive data.

    Therefore, user accounts, particularly those with special access privileges, should be assigned only to authorized employees. They should be adequately controlled and give the bare minimum of access to applications, computers, and networks.


    It is important for the organization to manage user accounts and authenticate to ensure the security of its data and services, including third-party accounts. Hence measures should be taken such as

    • Creating and approving user accounts
    • Authenticating users before granting access
    • Removing or disabling unused accounts
    • Using MFA (The password element of MFA must have a minimum length of 8 characters with no maximum length restrictions)
    • Separating accounts for administrative activities
    • Password-based authentication to protect against brute-force attacks, with technical controls managing password quality.


    Aim: The Company shall prevent known malware and unauthorized software from causing damage or accessing data.

    About: It is essential to protect the business from malicious software that attempts to access files on the system.

    Such software can cause havoc by stealing crucial data, corrupting files, and blocking access until you pay a charge.

    Protecting the device, privacy, and crucial documents from an array of malware keeps them secured and protected.

    • All devices in the scope of Cyber Essentials should have a malware protection mechanism active
    • For Windows or MacOS devices, anti-malware software must be used, updated in line with vendor recommendations, and configured to prevent malware from running, prevent execution of malicious code, and prevent connections to malicious websites over the internet
    • For all in-scope devices, the application allows listing must be used where only approved applications, restricted by code signing, are allowed to execute on devices
    • Approved applications must be actively approved before deployment and a current list of approved applications must be maintained


    The Cyber Essentials provides businesses with comprehensive guidance on protecting themselves in cyberspace. This is intended for security experts and technical employees as an overview of NCSC recommendations, with links to more detailed guidance provided when appropriate. It can also be used in conjunction with our Cyber Security Toolkit for Boards, which includes questions to assist structure talks between the business and the Board and additional resources to refer to the Board. Cyber security is critical to the health and resilience of any business that relies on digital technology to function, and it falls squarely under the authority of the Board of Directors.

    This guidance is intended to assist organizations in managing their cyber security risks by breaking down the task of protecting themselves into 10 components. Adopting security procedures outlined in the 10 Steps reduces the likelihood of cyber-attacks occurring, and minimizes the impact on your organization when incidents do occur.

    Here are some key features:

    • Cyber Essentials helps organizations protect themselves against common cyber-attacks.
    • Organizations must assess their current cybersecurity and identify areas for improvement in order to implement Cyber Essentials
    • Cyber Essentials requires five main security controls to be in place: firewalls, secure configuration, Secure update management, access control and malware protection
    • If an organization meets the requirements, it can receive a certification to show that it is committed to cybersecurity.
    • Cyber Essentials certification can be useful for organizations that want to show customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders that they take cybersecurity seriously.
    • For certain UK based government contracts, Cyber Essentials certification is a mandatory requirement.
    • Cyber Essentials Plus is a more advanced certification that includes additional testing and assessments beyond the basic Cyber Essentials requirements.

    Hence we can conclude that by implementing Cyber Essentials, organizations can improve their overall cybersecurity posture and better protect themselves against cyber-attacks.


    • Our expertise in Cyber Essentials lets us identify the risks in your organization and we'll work with you to detect and address the identified risks and vulnerabilities before an attacker does.
    • We are a reliable security companion you can trust.
    • Malicious attackers can frequently go undetected for months. By acting right now, Cyber Essentials could assist you in protecting your company before any long-term damage occurs.

    10-Step Process to Cyber Security

    • Risk Management: The organizations shall take a risk-based approach to secure the data and systems
    • Engagement and Training: The organizations shall collaboratively build security that works for the people in it
    • Asset Management: The organizations shall know what data and systems they have and what business need they support
    • Architecture and configuration: The organizations shall design, build, maintain and manage systems securely
    • Vulnerability management: The organizations shall keep the systems protected throughout their lifecycle
    • Identity and access management: The organization shall control who and what can access the systems and data
    • Data security: The organizations shall protect data where it is vulnerable
    • Logging and monitoring: The organization shall design the systems to be able to detect and investigate incidents
    • Incident management: The organization shall plan the response to cyber incidents in advance
    • Supply chain security: The organization shall collaborate with the suppliers and partners


    Implementing Cyber Essentials shall assist your company to:

    Cyber Essentials is an important tool for businesses to improve their cybersecurity by identifying and fixing their weaknesses through a self-assessment process. The five key controls are important for cybersecurity which can significantly reduce the risk of cyber-attacks. Cyber Essentials is a consistent framework for best practices in cybersecurity and can protect businesses against various cyber threats like data breaches.

    Following are some of the major benefits of implementing Cyber Essentials Framework:

    • Provide cost-effective assurance
    • Establish a mandatory framework for government contracts
    • Mitigate a significant percentage of the risks such as malware infections, social engineering attacks, and hacking
    • Safeguard highly confidential data and reduce the chance of disruption, economic loss, and brand and reputation damage

    How Valency Network can help you protect your personal information?

    Valency Networks provides robust security solutions and cutting-edge technologies to keep your data safe and sound. Through comprehensive vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, we identify vulnerabilities in your systems and applications and provide actionable insights to strengthen your defenses. So, please sit back and relax, knowing that we have your back, protecting your personal information like a trustworthy cyber security expert.

    Why choose Valency Networks for Cyber Security?

    We claim to be the ultimate defender in the realm of cyber security. Allow us to give a brief overview to support our claim:

    Expertise: Valency Network has worked with the world’s top IT service and product companies to implement Cyber Essentials. We have customers worldwide, and they rate us as the leading Cyber Security Company for our dedication and subject matter expertise.

    Comprehensive Solutions:Valency Networks offers a complete suite of cybersecurity services comprising Risk Assessment, Risk Compliance, Risk Management and Risk Solutions. We deliver cutting-edge solutions in the areas of Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing services for IT Networks, Web apps, cloud apps, mobile apps and IoT/OT networks. We also provide Cyber Security Consultancy Services, Compliance Implementations and Cyber Security Auditing Services for ISO27001, HIPAA, GDPR, SOC2, PCI-DSS and so forth.

    Innovation: Valency Networks uses the latest technology and innovative approaches to address emerging challenges in the ever-evolving cyber landscape.

    Reputation: Recognized as one of India's top cyber security companies, we have been accolade as "The Top Cyber Security Company of India" for our excellence in delivering effective and reliable security solutions.

    Client-Focused Approach: We take our customer data security very seriously, which has helped us establish ourselves as a country's top cyber security expert by gaining our customer's trust and loyalty. We work closely with clients, catering to their needs and ensuring maximum protection and assurance.

    Hence, regarding cyber security, Valency Networks is the trusted armor that safeguards your business, allowing you to navigate the digital world confidently.


    Why is Cyber Essentials compliance important?

    Cyber threats are a major concern for businesses of all sizes. Cyber Essentials is a wonderful place to start for any company. This certification validates that a company has 5 key security controls to protect you from the vast majority of cyber threats.

    What are the Cyber Essentials prerequisites?

    The Cyber Essentials scheme requires companies to adopt five basic security controls: Firewalls, Secure Configuration, Security Update Management, User Access Control and Malware Protection. By meeting these requirements, the company may substantially reduce its risk of cyber-attacks.

    How to become Cyber Essentials compliant?

    To become Cyber Essentials compliant, you may either self-assess or obtain an independent assessment from a certification agency. You might download a self-assessment questionnaire from the Cyber Essentials website and complete it yourself, or you may engage with an accredited certification body to perform an independent assessment.

    What is the time required for the implementation of Cyber Essentials?

    IASME, the organization that assesses Cyber Essentials certifications, aims to provide the assessment results to organizations as quickly as possible. Usually, it takes 1-3 working days to complete the assessment once the organization submits it. If the organization has a tight time frame, they can let IASME know and they will try to prioritize the evaluation. However, this may take slightly longer than previous assessments due to a new consistent and standardized approach.

    How does an organization become a Certification Body?

    If any organization wants to become a Certification Body for the Cyber Essentials Scheme, they must apply to IASME. However, it's important to note that the organization needs to be registered as a company in the UK, the crown dependencies or the EU.

    What are the advantages of Cyber Essentials compliance?

    Cyber Essentials compliance can result in benefits such as improved cybersecurity and competitive advantage. According to a UK government study, 90% of cyber-attacks could have been avoided by implementing the controls in the Cyber Essentials scheme. Also, when we gathered statistics on Cyber Essentials we found that a survey shows 78% of organizations reported that obtaining Cyber Essentials helped them acquire new business.

    How long does Cyber Essentials compliance last?

    Cyber Essentials certification is valid for a year. After that, the company needs to renew its certification to maintain compliance with the scheme.

    How much does Cyber Essentials cost in 2023?

    Here is the breakdown of Cyber Essentials certification costs for different types of organizations in 2023:

    • Micro Organizations (0-9 Employees): £300 + VAT
    • Small Organizations (10-49 Employees): £400 + VAT
    • Medium Organizations (50-249 Employees): £450 + VAT
    • Large Organizations (250+ Employees): £500 + VAT

    It's important to note that these costs are subject to change and may vary depending on the Certification Body you choose to work with. Additionally, some organizations may incur additional costs for remediation or testing to meet the requirements of Cyber Essentials certification.

    How can Valency Networks help you become Cyber Essentials compliant?

    Why customers treat Valency Networks as one of the top cyber security companies to implement cyber essentials compliance is because we are committed to safeguarding your organization by providing 24/7 assistance, direction, and knowledge, giving you the peace of mind you require. We live and breathe cyber security. We don’t sleep, so you can.