Cutting through the noise around cyber security

30 January 2018

Special feature from Aaron Yates, Chief Executive at Berea, JLT’s Consortium Partner

Cyber security is no longer an awareness issue. It is in the news every day of the week. In fact, the opposite issue of information overload is now closer to the truth. Each new day brings more incidents, more noise, and more business confusion. For some businesses this wall of noise has become unhelpful to the point of paralysis.

For this reason, it is imperative that the cyber security industry, and associated professions, begin to convey a single concise message to the businesses most in harm's way. If we are to be able to support Government aspirations of making the UK the most secure place to do business, now is our crucial moment to act in concert.

Helpfully, the UK Government has undertaken some of the hard work for us. GCHQ, the Government Communication Headquarters, has designed an information security specification entitled the ‘Cyber Essentials’ scheme. GCHQ designed Cyber Essentials to combat the growing number of low skilled ‘commodity’ attacks most businesses face on a daily basis. They estimate that fully implementing the scheme will reduce a business’s risk from the Internet by 70-80%.

Importantly, the Information Commissioner’s Office (the ‘ICO’, the authority responsible for policing data protection activity) recognise the value of Cyber Essentials in supporting compliance with the information security requirements of data protection legislation, including the impending General Data Protection Regulation.

Addressing our problem of business confusion, and seeking a single consistent message to encourage business activity, this makes Cyber Essentials very attractive.

Whilst the scheme should be thought of as a stepping stone, it presents itself as the ideal first step for many businesses. It is for this reason that the scheme is worthy of the unified backing of all professional advisers. If we can present a single harmonious message, and direct all businesses into a standardised route of activity, we should swiftly begin to realise a more resilient British economy.

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For further information, please contact Sarah Stephens, Head of Cyber, Content and New Technology Risks on