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UK NCSC fully launches Cyber Advisors to help SMEs meet cybersecurity standards

Apr 18, 20232 mins
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The Cyber Advisors program is ready to get to work with 20 accredited providers offering services to help businesses enhance baseline security posture.

The UK National Cyber Centre (NCSC) has announced the full launch of its Cyber Advisors scheme to help smaller organisations achieve key cybersecurity controls and standards. Following an initial proof-of-concept and testing period, the NCSC said that the Cyber Advisor program is now ready to get to work with 20 accredited providers offering services to businesses that need help enhancing baseline security posture. The first iteration of the scheme will focus on driving take-up of the best practice Cyber Essentials program. In the future, the NCSC aims to launch separate Cyber Advisor iterations focusing on other best practices.

Smaller businesses lack in-house expertise to secure networks

Cyber Advisors is a targeted consultancy scheme aimed primarily at small organisations, which often lack in-house expertise or access to qualified people who can help them to secure their networks, NCSC’s Catherine H, head of assured professional schemes, industry assurance, wrote in a blog. “Because they often have limited time and funds to invest in security, it can be hard for a small organisation, whether it’s a business, a school, or a charity, to know where to focus what resources they do have.”

Cyber Advisors can help by providing cost-effective advice and, where required, hands-on help to implement the five Cyber Essentials Technical Controls. These are:

  • Use a firewall to secure internet connection.
  • Choose the most secure settings for devices and software.
  • Control who has access to data and services.
  • Protect users/organisations from viruses and other malware.
  • Keep devices and software up-to-date.

Cyber Advisors independently assessed, scope for hundreds more companies to join

Every Cyber Advisor must pass an independent assessment – the Certificate of Competence in Cyber Essentials Implementation. All Cyber Advisors work for companies that have met the NCSC’s requirements and been accepted as an Assured Service Provider for the Cyber Advisor service.

At least one certified Cyber Advisor is in every nation of the UK and in the Channel Islands already, with potential and capacity for many hundreds more companies and advisors to come on board, the NCSC said. The NSC particularly welcomes companies located in or serving geographically remote or under-represented areas, along with those working to address issues of under-representation in the cybersecurity workforce.

This week, the NCSC also published an update to its Principles Based Assurance (PBA) project that aims to help customers gain confidence that products are resilient to cyberattack.

UK Editor

Michael Hill is the UK editor of CSO Online. He has spent the past 8 years covering various aspects of the cybersecurity industry, with particular interest in the ever-evolving role of the human-related elements of information security. A keen storyteller with a passion for the publishing process, he enjoys working creatively to produce media that has the biggest possible impact on the audience.

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