The government is to renew its push on Cyber Essentials accreditation for businesses in advance of the Cyber Security Skills Strategy to be published in 2017.
Speaking at the Institute for Directors cyber security conference, minister for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said the government will be encouraging all businesses to take up the Cyber Essentials scheme.
He said: “Numbers are really starting to grow. Already, we’ve awarded more than 6,000 certificates to date, with the numbers more than tripling in the past year. We’ll be publishing the figures on take-up each month from now on.
“I mentioned the Government already requires many of its suppliers to hold a Cyber Essentials certificate. We’ll be strengthening this requirement to ensure even more of our contractors take up the scheme.
“I can announce today that we will beef up our requirements for contractors to use the scheme. And I can also I’m pleased to announce that a number of the country’s biggest firms have also agreed to encourage their suppliers to adopt Cyber Essentials. These include Barclays, BT, Vodafone, Astra Zeneca and, Airbus Defence & Space, and Intel Security.”
Hancock discussed the need for tighter cyber security throughout the supply chain: “I think this is a powerful signal that the security of our suppliers is as important as our own security – the two things are inextricably linked. It is also a recognition that Cyber Essentials is an effective tool which can be built on to achieve greater security in our organisations.
“To complement these new measures, we’ve also published updated Cyber Essentials requirements, to make the scheme easier to use. And we’ll be starting a marketing campaign on Friday to raise awareness and drive adoption of the scheme.”
With GDPR on the horizon, Hancock said that now was the time for companies to recognise cyber security requirements: “It’s important businesses and organisations take action. With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation next year, it’s crucial all organisations understand what data they have and ensure it is protected appropriately. Taking these actions I’ve outlined will help. There is further guidance on GDPR on the Information Commissioner’s website.”
Hancock also indicated that a Cyber Security skills strategy will be published later in 2017.
The calls for greater awareness and cyber security come as the IoD and Barclays publish a report which shows that a number of UK businesses have no formal plan to protect themselves from a cyber-attack.
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