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Monday, 26 January 2015

Cyber Essentials and IT security

Last October (2014)  saw another IT assessment system being mandated by Government for anyone wishing  to bid for contracts; this one is designed to protect computer systems from malware, Trojans and other nasties.

There are two levels:

  • Basic level where the CEO or MD of a company self certifies that the following elements have been introduced and tested
    • Boundary firewalls and internet gateways,
    • Secure configuration,
    • Access controls,
    • Malware protection and
    • Patch control.
    • The declaration and completed questionnaire is reviewed by the assessing body.

  • Cyber Essentials Plus where the six elements are introduced and then externally audited and a certificate is issued.

I have heard that these two assessments are more akin to a vehicle MOT and provide the bare essentials for computer safety.

Many organisations have achieved certification to the widely known ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management Standard and ISO 27002 Code of Practice which cover all of the Cyber Essentials requirements but goes much further and addresses :

  • Information security policies
  • Organisation of information Security
  • Human resource security.
  • Asset management
  • Access control
  • Cryptography
  • Physical and environmental security
  • Operations security
  • Communications security
  • System acquisition, development and maintenance
  • Supplier relationships
  • Information security incident management
  • Information security aspects of business continuity management
  • Compliance

We have yet to hear whether Government will accept ISO 27001 as evidence of IT security or will need one or both as tender entry qualifications. 

Watch this space!!

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