Strengthening FinTech Resilience: Embracing Cyber Essentials Plus for a Secure Future | The Financial Technologist

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Download your free copy of the latest Financial Technologist magazine here.In an era wh...

Download your free copy of the latest Financial Technologist magazine here.

In an era where the digital landscape is fraught with cyber threats, FinTech companies stand at the forefront of innovation, reshaping the financial services industry. However, with great opportunity comes great responsibility – particularly when it comes to safeguarding sensitive financial data from malicious actors. In this highly regulated landscape, compliance is paramount. An attainable certification that provides a clear roadmap for organisations seeking to align their cybersecurity practices with regulatory mandates would be ideal. Enter Cyber Essentials Plus.

The Essence of Cyber Essentials Plus

At its core, Cyber Essentials Plus is much more than a tick-box certification; it's a testament to an organisation's commitment to robust cybersecurity practices. It’s an attainable, yet highly effective cyber security standard, created by the NCSC as tailored to the threats faced by UK  businesses. By adhering to its stringent standards, companies can bolster their defences, taking significant steps in mitigating the risk of breaches.

Practically, it is available to organisations who have just certified to Cyber Essentials. Whereas Cyber Essentials is a verified self-assessment, Cyber Essentials Plus goes on to verify the answers given in the self- assessment via an external penetration tester running a number of tests on your network.

A Holistic Approach to Security

Unlike traditional frameworks that may overwhelm with complexity, Cyber Essentials Plus takes a pragmatic approach, focusing on fundamental technical security controls essential for thwarting common cyberattacks. From email phishing to malware infiltration, Cyber Essentials Plus equips organisations with the necessary tools and strategies to mitigate these risks effectively.

Pre-emptive Measures and Proactive Defence

One of the hallmarks of Cyber Essentials Plus is its emphasis on proactive defence measures. Conducted by external assessors, comprehensive vulnerability assessments combined with testing the security of end-user devices, organisations are shown their weaknesses and informed on how to best address them. Proactive approaches like this not only enhance security but also foster a culture of continuous improvement and vigilance.

Building Trust Through Transparency

In the digital age, trust is currency – particularly in the financial sector. Cyber Essentials Plus serves as a tangible symbol of an organisation's dedication to safeguarding customer data and upholding the principles of transparency and accountability. By earning the trust of stakeholders, including clients, partners, and regulators, FinTech firms can solidify their reputation as reliable custodians of sensitive information.

Real-World Impact

The value of Cyber Essentials Plus is not merely theoretical; it is validated by real-world success stories. In the face of cyber threats, organisations with Cyber Essentials Plus certification have demonstrated resilience and efficacy in defending against attacks. Government research shows that organisations who are compliant with Cyber Essentials Plus are considerably less prone to cyberattack.

Recommended next steps

Interested in proceeding? Your first step will be to achieve Cyber Essentials certification. Once this step is complete, you will then have 3 months to certify to Cyber Essentials Plus. The certification lasts for 12 months, after which it, like your cyber security measures, will need to be reviewed.

Download your free copy of the latest Financial Technologist magazine here.

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