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The most frequently asked questions about Cyber Essentials

Last month, we told you that we had achieved Cyber Essentials certification, demonstrating our commitment to cyber security. But what is Cyber Essentials? Do you need it? How much is it etc etc? In this blog we answer those questions…and many more.

According to the National Cyber Security Centre, the number of Cyber Essentials certificates awarded to businesses has increased by 15% in the last year. If your company is considering Cyber Essentials, we have all you need to know with our frequently asked questions guide to Cyber Essentials certification. We'll begin with...

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a simple and effective government-backed programme that is backed by industry experts and the Cyber Resilience Centre network.

The scheme assists you in implementing measures to protect your organisation, regardless of size or industry, against a variety of the most common cyber-attacks such as malware, ransomware and phishing.

Why should your business get a Cyber Essentials certificate?

Cyber Essentials provides you with a certificate and badge to display on your premises and website to demonstrate your commitment to cyber security to your customers and clients.

Having the certificate makes your organisation more resilient to the most common types of cyber-attacks. It gives your company peace of mind knowing that your data is secure and your security systems are strong in the event of a cyber-attack. As a result of Cyber Essentials, you will be able to bid on specific government contracts, expanding your business opportunities.

How and where can I become Cyber Essentials certified?

We collaborate with a small group of businesses that we call our Cyber Essentials Partners. They are official providers of Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus Certification.

Our members - or any businesses in the East Midlands for that matter - can contact us so that we can refer you to one of our Trusted Partners in your area who can assist you in becoming certified. These companies have all met our stringent due diligence test, so you can be sure you’re getting the very best.

Does the Cyber Essentials certification have an expiry date?

Your Cyber Essentials certification is valid for 12 months once you have obtained it. The UK government suggests that businesses renew their certification every year.

How much does the Cyber Essentials certification cost?

The cost of Cyber Essentials (verified self-assessment) follows a tiered pricing structure which adopts the internationally recognised definition for micro, small, medium and large enterprises.

  • Micro organisations (0-9 employees) - £300 + VAT

  • Small organisations (10-49 employees) - £400 + VAT

  • Medium organisations (50-249 employees) - £450 + VAT

  • Large organisations (250+ employees) - £500 + VAT

Should we have Cyber Essentials before getting Cyber Essentials Plus?

In short, yes. To become Cyber Essentials Plus certified, your company must first pass Cyber Essentials. Furthermore, you must complete the Cyber Essentials Plus audit within three months of receiving your Cyber Essentials certificate.

My business has Cyber Essentials. Do I need Cyber Essentials plus?

There is no mandatory requirement for your company to obtain Cyber Essentials plus. If you want to bid on government or MoD contracts, you will need Cyber Essentials at the very least. Having Cyber Essentials Plus, on the other hand, demonstrates that your company is going above and beyond to ensure security and data protection.

If you do not need this, Cyber Essentials can strengthen your organisation's resilience to the most common types of cyber-attacks and demonstrate to your clients that you are committed to cyber security.

How do I check if another organisation has a valid Cyber Essentials certificate?

Any company that passes Cyber Essentials and becomes accredited can display the Cyber Essentials badge on its website. Still unsure? IASME (the Cyber Essentials founders) have created a useful search tool that you can use.

Does Cyber Essentials provide a level of Cyber Liability insurance?

If your firm is UK-domiciled with a turnover under £20m and you achieve Cyber Essentials certification covering your entire organisation, you will be able to opt-into the included cyber liability insurance.

This does not involve any additional cost or forms, it is completely free!

The insurance cover includes a 24-hour technical and legal incident response service. Professional indemnity policies that used to protect law firms if they suffered a cyber breach are now changing their terms to restrict cover due to the high number of claims.

Getting certified is a straightforward way of demonstrating to your insurance company, your business associates and your customers that you take cyber security seriously and have your house in order.

Does the EMCRC have the Cyber Essentials certification?

Yes we do, and you can read about it here.

Getting certified

The IASME consortium can help you to get certified.

There is also the Cyber Essentials readiness toolkit. Your responses to the questions in the toolkit helps create a personal action plan to help you move towards meeting the Cyber Essentials requirements. The action plan includes links to specific guidance on how to meet the requirements.

Cyber Essentials & government contracts

If you would like to bid for central government contracts which involve handling sensitive and personal information or the provision of certain technical products and services, you will require Cyber Essentials Certification. More information is available on the website.



Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).



The contents of blog posts on this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. EMCRC provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us by email.


EMCRC does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this blog. EMCRC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.

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