Craig Pepper
February 15, 2024
5 Min Read

The Five Key Controls of Cyber Essentials

Cybersecurity is a critical component of any business strategy. With cyber threats ever evolving, protecting your organisation's data and digital infrastructure is more important than ever. This is where Cyber Essentials, a UK Government backed scheme comes into play, offering a simple yet effective framework for cyber protection. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into the Five Key Controls of Cyber Essentials and explain why they are essential for securing your business against a wide range of cyber attacks.

1. Secure Your Internet Connection (Firewalls and Routers)

The first line of defence in the Cyber Essentials scheme involves securing your internet connection through the effective use of firewalls and routers. These devices are designed to create a buffer between your network and external threats, filtering incoming and outgoing traffic based on a set of predefined security rules. Implementing robust firewalls helps to prevent unauthorised access to your networks, safeguarding your systems from potential cyber intrusions.

2. Secure Your Devices and Software (Secure Configuration)

The second control emphasises the importance of securing your devices and software by implementing secure configurations. This involves disabling unnecessary features and services, removing or protecting default user accounts, and ensuring that your systems are configured to operate securely from the outset. Regularly updating and patching your devices and software is also crucial to protect against vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals.

3. Control Access to Your Data and Services (Access Control)

Effective access control is vital to ensure that only authorised individuals have access to your data and services. This control involves implementing user accounts, managing administrative privileges, and using secure passwords or two-factor authentication (2FA) to minimise the risk of unauthorised access. By controlling who has access to what, businesses can significantly reduce the potential for data breaches and other security incidents.

4. Protect from Viruses and Other Malware (Malware Protection)

Malware, including viruses, worms, and ransomware, poses a significant threat to businesses of all sizes. The fourth key control of Cyber Essentials focuses on implementing appropriate malware protection measures, such as antivirus software, to detect and remove malicious software. Regularly updating your malware protection and educating your employees about safe online practices are critical steps in defending against malware infections.

5. Keep Your Devices and Software Up to Date (Patch Management)

The final control underscores the importance of keeping your devices and software up to date. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software to gain unauthorised access to systems. Regular patch management, including the timely installation of updates and patches, helps to close these security gaps and protect your business from cyber threats.

Implementing the Five Key Controls of Cyber Essentials is a proactive step towards enhancing your business's cybersecurity posture. These controls offer a foundational level of protection, helping to guard against the vast majority of cyber attacks. By prioritising these measures, businesses can not only secure their digital assets but also build trust with customers and partners.

Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing journey, not a one-time effort. Staying informed about the latest threats and continuously improving your security practices are essential to safeguarding your business. By Signing up to Periculo FREE Partnership, you’ll have access to training, a security wiki, weekly threat report, monthly newsletter and a FREE quarterly vulnerability scan.

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