What Controls Need to Be in Place to Ensure You Comply?

Cyber Essentials

What Controls Need to Be in Place to Ensure You Comply?

In the last article we looked at complying with Cyber Essentials and some of the main things to make sure were in order to best help your business comply. We also looked at the differences between Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. In this article we are going to look at some more of the requirements for complying with Cyber Essentials.

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Must Be Used For Access To Cloud Services

When connecting to cloud services, MFA is necessary to add additional security to accounts. Before you can access an account, the Cyber Essentials accreditation requires that you have two different forms of credentials, at the very least.

  • Password and MFA Requirements

The Cyber Essentials Scheme mandates the implementation of additional security in the form of MFA so that you can keep track of the number of password guesses made or lock accounts after a maximum of 10 unsuccessful tries in order to prevent brute-force password guessing.

  • Software Licensing, Support, Updating and Removal

Your organisation must make sure that all software on all of your in-scope devices is fully licenced and supported in accordance with the new updated Cyber Essentials standard. When a piece of software is no longer supported, it must also be deleted from devices since failing to do so leaves your systems open to attack.

Wherever possible, you must have automatic updates enabled. One of the most significant changes is that you now have 14 days from the date of release to implement updates that a vendor deems “critical” or “high risk.”

  • Device Locking for Physically Present Users

One of the new requirements is centred around device unlocking – you must now use biometrics or a password of at least six characters in length to physically unlock a device.

The credentials on an account need to be protected against cyber attacks. This can be done by limiting the number of opportunities the criminals have by only permitting a certain number of guesses in a set amount of time. You can go one step further by locking devices when there has been a certain number of unsuccessful attempts.

What Changes Were Made to Cyber Essentials Plus?

The Cyber Essentials Plus certification features two new additional exams as part of the assessment process, but otherwise, it is equivalent to the regular certification in terms of security control criteria. In the first, the assessor will check to see if user and administrative accounts are separated, and in the second, the assessor will check to see if your organisation has successfully implemented multi-factor authentication in order to access cloud services.

Even though they may be inconvenient, the modifications align with your organization’s needs for cyber security. Your cyber security procedures must evolve as they get more sophisticated, complex, and effective, and Cyber Essentials makes sure you accomplish this successfully.


So, in conclusion it isn’t that complicated to comply with Cyber Essentials. It normally involves strengthening the security of your business which is always a good thing. Apart from that there is some data confidentiality needed for your business to comply with Cyber Essentials.

IT Specialists

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Cyber Essentials