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UK will offer cyber essentials to some small organizations helping vulnerable citizens

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is a part of the Government Communications Headquarters, commonly known as GCHQ, will offer free cybersecurity support to a number of small organizations in high-risk sectors.

Small charities that process personal data and legal aid firms are in line to receive 20 hours of free security advice and expert support thanks to the new Funded Cyber Essentials Program. It is meant to help chosen organizations implement the five measures required to be certified under the program – firewalls, secure settings, access controls, malware, and software updates.

Cyber Essentials is a scheme supported by the UK government which aims to protect organizations against a variety of cyberattacks. The program suggests that although cyber threats differ to a certain degree, most “are very basic in nature, carried out by relatively unskilled individuals.”

Two different certifications on offer – Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus – provide different cybersecurity assessment programs.

“The new Funded Cyber Essentials Programme is a great opportunity for small organizations to gain free assistance with putting key cyber security protections in place,” said Sarah Lyons, NCSC Deputy Director for Economy and Society Resilience. “I strongly encourage organizations to register so they can boost their cyber resilience and help reduce the chances of falling victim to a potentially damaging cyberattack.”

Organizations in the high-risk sector typically deal with sensitive data, such as information about domestic abuse survivors.

“The Funded Cyber Essentials program is aimed at some of the smallest and most vulnerable organizations in the UK. It is designed to encourage and support them to implement the minimum cyber security technical controls,” Dr. Emma Philpott MBE, CEO of the IASME Consortium, which delivers the program for the government, commented.

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