Cybersecurity is critical for your organisation and Certifications like Cyber Essentials (CE) and Cyber Essentials Plus (CE+) are key in showcasing your commitment. Both aim to enhance your security stance but they do have differences. It’s important for you to understand these distinctions when you’re aiming to achieve certification. Understanding the reasons why the controls within CE and CE+ are important will help you navigate the certification process.

Certification Process: For CE, you’ll complete a self-assessment questionnaire demonstrating your adherence to basic cybersecurity controls, covering five key areas: firewalls, secure configuration, access control, malware protection, and patch management. With CE+, you’ll undergo the same process, but it also includes an additional independent testing and verification step. This involves our expert-led vulnerability scan to confirm your security measures and identify any missed vulnerabilities in your self-assessment.

Rigor and Assurance: With CE+, you gain more rigor and assurance thanks to added testing and verification. Our independent testing ensures your security measures are effective and resilient against real-world attacks, reducing the risk of overlooked vulnerabilities or misconfigurations in your self-assessment.

Scope of Assessment: CE focuses on protecting your internet-facing systems and networks from common cyber threats. This serves as a solid start for enhancing your overall security. CE+ goes beyond this, assessing your internal networks, devices, and user practices as well. This provides a more comprehensive evaluation of your cybersecurity measures.

Compliance and Contractual Requirements: While CE is a necessity for certain government contracts and is recognised across various industries, CE+ is seen as a more advanced level of certification. You might specifically need it for stricter contracts or if your organisation handles sensitive information or has elevated security requirements.

Cost and Resources: CE is typically more cost-effective and can be achieved through a self-assessment, reducing your need for specialised expertise. Conversely, CE+ involves higher costs due to independent testing conducted by our cybersecurity experts. While both certifications enhance your cybersecurity practices, CE+ provides deeper scrutiny and assurance, making it ideal if you require a higher level of cybersecurity maturity or need to meet specific contract or regulation demands. Our article Defining your Cyber Essentials Scope provides more details on starting the CE process.

Securing your organisation is vital, and certifications like CE and CE+ highlight your commitment. With CE+, our experts provide a more thorough security evaluation, identifying overlooked vulnerabilities. Despite higher costs, CE+ offers in-depth assessment valuable for organisations needing higher levels of cybersecurity maturity or specific contractual compliance. The involvement of our experts significantly boosts your cybersecurity readiness.

  • Over 10,000 organizations have achieved CE+

  • Organisations with CE+ were 80% less likely to experience a data breach

  • CE+ led to a 30% increase in customer trust and confidence

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