Why Cyber Essentials is Crucial for Financial Services Organisations? 

David Moffatt, Technical Director at Evolve North, explains the importance of Cyber Essentials and how it helps financial services organisations protect their valuable data. 

In today’s world, the financial services sector is increasingly becoming a prime target for cyberattacks. High-profile entities and valuable services within this industry attract significant attention from cybercriminals. This highlights the necessity for organisations to implement robust cybersecurity measures and strategies, particularly through Cyber Essentials certification. 

The Importance of Cyber Essentials 

Financial services organisations handle extensive amounts of sensitive data, making them attractive targets for ransomware attacks. The potential for significant reputational damage from such breaches underscores the importance of a solid cybersecurity strategy. Cyber Essentials provides a straightforward and effective means to protect against common entry-level threats, safeguarding valuable information. 

Statistics illustrate this point vividly. For instance, 73% of financial services businesses prioritise protection against cyber threats, compared to 36% across other industries. This stark difference underscores the heightened risk and the critical need for comprehensive cybersecurity measures in the financial sector. 

Outsourcing and Supply Chain Security 

A notable trend in the UK financial services industry is the outsourcing of core cybersecurity functions, with 70% of organisations relying on managed service providers (MSPs). However, this reliance introduces additional risks if these MSPs do not maintain rigorous cybersecurity standards. Cyber Essentials certification can mitigate these risks by ensuring that all entities within the supply chain adhere to a minimum-security standard. 

Echoing this, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is pushing for enhanced security across the entire supply chain. Whether you’re a conveyancer, accounting firm, real estate organisation, or IT provider, your security can impact financial institutions due to the interconnected nature of modern business operations. 

Securing the Supply Chain 

Mandating Cyber Essentials certification throughout the supply chain can significantly improve the overall security of the financial services industry. Ensuring that all third-party providers meet minimum cybersecurity standards is crucial, not only during onboarding but throughout ongoing operations. This due diligence helps protect against potential vulnerabilities introduced by third parties. 

Cyber Essentials certification costs start from just £320, making it an accessible investment for any organisation looking to bolster its cybersecurity. For those seeking even greater assurance, Cyber Essentials Plus starts from £1220, offering enhanced protection and peace of mind. 

Evolving Beyond Cyber Essentials 

While Cyber Essentials is a great starting point, financial services organisations may choose to further enhance their security by pursuing advanced certifications like ISO 27001. Evolve North has a wealth of experience in working with organisations throughout the financial services sector and beyond, helping organisations prepare for and achieve ISO27001 certification. 

Additionally, Evolve North offers comprehensive services around third-party due diligence, helping organisations ascend the security maturity ladder. By maintaining insight into the security practices of your third parties and suppliers, you can ensure robust protection for your sensitive data and operations. 

In the very least, Cyber Essentials certification is essential for financial services organisations to safeguard against prevalent cyber threats. But by securing both individual organisations and their supply chains, the industry as a whole can achieve a higher standard of cybersecurity, protecting valuable data and maintaining trust. 

For any questions on your own cybersecurity reach out on 01748 905 002 or email info@evolvenorth.com 

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