29 September 2023

Many firms need guidance on whether to apply for Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials PLUS. It might be difficult to know which is the best option for you. The stage of maturity of the company's cybersecurity, particular requirements, and risk tolerance are just a few of the considerations when deciding between the Cyber Essentials as well as Cyber Essentials Plus certifications. A company that has obtained the Cyber Essentials accreditation and takes cyber security carefully may inspire confidence in customers as well as other organisations when they commit their data to that company.

What is Cyber essential vs cyber essential plus?

The cyber essential act in a manner analogous to a burglar testing the front entrance to determine whether it is unlocked. Our recommendations are intended to stop these assaults. The basic certification, Cyber Essentials, is appropriate for the majority of organisations. It includes a self-evaluation questionnaire as well as an external vulnerability check, focusing on essential cybersecurity procedures.

The safeguards you must implement under Cyber Essentials Plus are identical to those under Cyber Essentials and yet maintain the hallmark ease of approach. However, under Cyber Essentials Plus, real-time technological verification is performed. As an alternative, you may become comfortable with cyber security jargon and learn sufficient to start safeguarding your IT. The advanced Cyber Essentials Plus certification expands upon the foundational Cyber Essentials certification.

Cyber essential vs cyber essential plus- Which one suits best?

Anything that we do, the fact that Cyber Essentials Plus includes real verification from security experts is what is causing it to fast become a de facto standard. Many public sector agreements mandate it, and businesses in the commercial sector are increasingly requesting Cyber Essentials Plus through their vendors. The Financial Conduct Authorities and the Law Society are two professional organizations within the sector that actively support and encourage the certification. It is anticipated that this will improve to Plus for those who merely require the minimum quality.

Therefore, if funds are available, achieving the Plus standard provides the best sense in order to take advantage of commercial prospects, keep one step ahead of rivals, and to get your security measures officially validated.

Every firm may benefit from using Cyber Essentials. The majority of small and micro enterprises find the process of getting ready to fill out Cyber Essentials questionnaire to be very informative, and most say it causes them to become more conscious of cyber security as well as permanently modify their conduct in that respect. Larger companies frequently already apply a lot of the security measures outlined in Cyber Essentials, yet they may want to prove their commitment to cyber security in an extremely visible way through this acknowledged, government-approved programme in order to win an agreement or reassure their customers.

It's crucial to be informed that compared to the standard Cyber Essentials certification, Cyber Essentials Plus often demands more resources and expenditure. Financial resources are included here for evaluations and potential corrective actions.

Key comparison between cyber essential and cyber essential plus

Cyber essential

  • It is perfect for SMEs searching for a low-cost approach to complying with the GDPR that have minimal system procedures.
  • An internal IT team can perform the self-evaluation. All system and business procedures must be understood by this team.
  • The self-inspection is a review of the fundamental system standards necessary for compliance with the baseline.
  • Employees of the company can complete this questionnaire for self-evaluation

Cyber essential plus

  • The systems of your company will be remotely scanned for vulnerabilities by an outside certifying agency.
  • The advantage of dealing with people who possess auditing expertise in multiple comparable firms comes from hiring independent assessors.
  • This audit determines if your firm complies with all five Cyber Essentials rules and evaluates all system requirements.
  • It is a well completed audit that is excellent for big businesses.

What situations call for Cyber Essentials Basic and Plus?

Cyber Essentials Plus and Cyber Essential can assist you in reducing additional cybersecurity threats, including denial-of-service attacks and cyber extortion in addition to protecting your organization's data secure from hackers.

To obtain government contracts:

Organisations wishing to bid on government contracts must have the certifications Cyber Essentials and Plus, without which they could fail to be able to do so. Considering that these institutions handle the private information of UK individuals and government workers, it is also crucial.

For a provider of managed services or IT support:

Understanding how to help clients with anything from fundamental IT requirements and debugging to advanced safety and network management is crucial. Your firm must be certified minimum to the level that your clients are looking for support with their Cyber Essentials & plus if they require help with it.

Contracts with the ministry of defence:

All of the suppliers to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) are required to adhere to the Cyber Essentials & Plus programmes. This implies that any businesses doing business directly with the MOD or businesses supplying the MOD supply network must have Cyber Essentials.

When investigating internal causes:

When managing personal data, particularly private information of consumers, it is crucial for staff at all positions know how to adhere to data protection laws. If you want to demonstrate that your business takes safeguarding information seriously & adheres to regulations with cyber security, adhering to Cyber Essentials Plus is the best option.


Obtaining the Cyber Essentials accreditation is not only a prerequisite for organizations looking to engage in specific government contracts, including those with the Ministry of Defence but also a crucial step in maintaining compliance with the UK government and key sectors. Beyond government contracts, it serves as a testament to your commitment to cybersecurity, instilling confidence in clients and customers. The choice between Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus depends on your company's unique demands, risk tolerance, cybersecurity objectives, and legal obligations. For guidance and support in navigating these considerations, SafeAeon stands as your reliable partner. Don't hesitate to reach out to us with any concerns or inquiries; we're here to assist you in safeguarding your digital assets and ensuring compliance.

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