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Securing Government Contracts: The Role of Cyber Essentials

Winning a government contract can help a business by giving steady work and chances to work on public projects. Entering this arena requires strong security measures. Cyber Essentials certification is essential for ensuring your security is up to par. Let’s explore why this certification can help you win contracts and protect against cyber threats.

Cyber Essentials: Your First Line of Defence

Think of Cyber Essentials as your foundation in building a strong security strategy. A scheme backed by the UK government, designed to help you guard against the most common cyber-threats. It may seem like a hassle, but having strong security measures shows the government you take security seriously. And when you’re dealing with sensitive info and critical services, this certification is often non-negotiable.

Why Cyber Essentials?

Looking to bid for Government contracts? The government isn’t just throwing another requirement at you with Cyber Essentials; it’s ensuring that all its partners speak the same security language. This certification is about aligning on a Cyber Security baseline, minimising supply chain risks, and protecting critical information and services from cyber incidents.

It’s about making sure you, as a contractor, are equipped to defend not just your own operations, but also the integrity of government data and infrastructure.

Two hands from either side of picture, on the left the hand is holding a question mark. On the right, the hand is open to a light bulb

 Cyber Essentials Government Contracts: The Benefits

Who Needs Cyber Essentials? Key Information for Companies:

The Procurement Policy Note on the Cyber Essentials Scheme clarifies that to work with the government, suppliers must adhere to specific Cyber Security standards. Since 2014, businesses bidding on certain public contracts are required to either hold a Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus certification or demonstrate equivalent Cyber Security controls.

This move aims to bolster the security infrastructure of businesses of all sizes, ensuring they’re protected against a wide array of common cyber threats and underscoring their commitment to security.

This requirement is particularly critical for contracts involving sensitive activities, such as:

This ensures that all suppliers involved in such contracts have effective and proportionate cyber security controls in place to mitigate risks, protect sensitive information and maintain the integrity of the government’s digital infrastructure.

Certification Requirements:

Annual Renewal: Cyber Essentials certification is valid for 12 months and it requires annual renewal to ensure ongoing compliance and protection.

The government decides whether suppliers need the Cyber Essentials basic or the more in-depth Cyber Essentials Plus certification, based on how critical the security needs are for each contract.

Cyber Essentials was introduced because other standards, like ISO27001, weren’t specific enough to stop common online threats. However, for higher-risk contracts, just having Cyber Essentials Plus scheme might not be enough. In these cases, additional security measures from standards like the ISO 27001 series could be required.

Typically, these more demanding security requirements apply to:

This approach allows the government to ensure that Cyber Security measures are matched to the specific risks and data sensitivity of each contract.

Beyond the Contract: The Wider Benefits

Chasing government contracts aside, Government Cyber Essentials has perks that ripple across your entire operation:

Blue clipboard with ticks going down the side

Getting Your Government Cyber Essentials Scheme Badge

For those eyeing government contracts, the Cyber Essentials certification scheme is more than a checkbox. It shows you value security, meet important standards, and stand out in a competitive market. It’s a pathway to adopting robust Cyber Security practices that benefit every facet of your business and stakeholder relationships.

Need a Cyber Essentials quote fast from certification bodies? Get in touch with Equilibrium to get Cyber Essentials certified. We are a Cyber Essentials certification body for the IASME Consortium.

We provide fast pricing and guidance based on our years of experience in this area. Let us help you breeze through your certification with our hands-on support and expertise. Contact us to begin your certification process!

Call us on 0121 663 0055, or email

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Whether you are a CISO, an IT Director or a business owner, Equilibrium has the
expertise to help you shape and deliver your security strategy.

About the author

Amelia Frizzell is a skilled Marketing Manager at Equilibrium Security, specialising in Cyber Security content writing since 2016. She blends her marketing expertise with Cyber Security insights to produce practical, informative content that educates your business and promotes security awareness/best practice.
Amelia Frizzell
Marketing and Operations Manager

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