News: Cyber Essentials Voucher Scheme – now open!

Posted on 7 November 2018

To help more businesses become cyber secure, Scottish Enterprise are running a Cyber Essentials Voucher Scheme which offers a voucher up to the value of £1000 to support Scottish SME’s to achieve the certification.

What’s Cyber Essentials? It’s a UK Government backed certification run by the National Cyber Security Centre. It’s a simple, cost effective way for organisations to  protect themselves against cyber attack; ensure they’ve controls in place to guard against the most common cyber threats; and publicly demonstrate their commitment to cyber security.

What are he benefits of getting certified?

  1. It’s important to customers. As public awareness of cyber security is growing, more and more consumers are taking cyber security seriously. SMEs that can demonstrate a robust approach to cyber security are more likely to be considered a safe bet by customers.
  2. The procurement landscape is changing. If you’re bidding for contracts, you need this. 94% of procurement managers say cyber standards are important when awarding a contract for an SME, and 86% said they would consider removing a supplier from their roster due to a cyber security breach. The Scottish Government recently launched its public and private sector action plans on cyber security. Both include actions that mean from, now on, being able to demonstrate Cyber Essentials will be increasingly necessary when bidding for contracts.
  3. Cyber security is moving up the leadership agenda, fast. In the last year, three quarters of UK businesses said cyber is a high priority for senior management, three fifths have sought information, advice or guidance on cyber security, and nearly 70% spent money on cyber security.
  4. “We’re too small, we’re not a digital company, it won’t happen to us” is a misconception. If you’re an SME there’s a one in two chance you’ll experience a cyber breach (not great odds). Of the companies attacked last year, 41% said online services weren’t seen as their core business. The reality is that small companies are often seen as soft targets compared to larger organisations who can employ teams of people and expensive systems.
  5. It’s a cost effective way to mitigate business risk. The average financial cost of an attack is pitched at around £1500 but this varies – for medium sized organisations it was closer to £3070, for micro and small organisations £1380. The damage can be more than financial though – nearly 90% of small businesses that were hacked said they faced reputational damage which included damage to their brand, stopped them winning new business, and losing existing clients. 93% said it significantly impacted on their ability to operate*.

Who’s eligible for the voucher?

  • Small or medium enterprises (SME) with fewer than 250 employees
  • With a registered base in Scotland
  • Who operate IT with a connection to the internet

The voucher will give you an opportunity to choose a supplier who will work with you to gain certification and guide you through the process every step of the way.

You can now register your interest for further details about the Cyber Essentials Voucher Scheme and an application form.