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What Are Cybersecurity Standards?

Today, with cyber attacks making the news every day, cybersecurity is on the top of business owners’ minds. However, adopting the right security strategies and knowing exactly what you can do to mitigate your risk is a huge issue for the decision-makers within these organizations. This is especially true for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMB) that typically have a lack of resources and budgets necessary to implement the most efficient and sophisticated security solutions available.

U.S. and UK authorities are aware of the cyber-related issues that confront every business of the present and the way contrary to what many believe they affect businesses that span all sizes and industries. Smaller businesses are not insignificant to cybercriminals, and frequently, they are targeted for attack, even if only to gain access into the supply chain in order to gain access to larger companies.

The consequences of these attacks are devastating for SMBs and studies have shown 60 percent of the small companies are shut down within six months after an attack that is successful. That means that SMBs should begin making cybersecurity a top priority and conducting the proper type of risk assessments to ensure they’re spending the least expensive options that will benefit their business.

What are Cybersecurity Standards?

The cyber space is filled with a variety of standards and certifications that businesses are able to obtain in regards to cyber security and cybersecurity. These standards are created to provide businesses with a range of methods, controls, and procedures that they could use to reach as well as maintain an appropriate amount of security.

In stating that they’re in compliance with the security standards they have chosen business can establish more credibility when dealing with insurers, stakeholders as well as potential clients and even potential partners. This is only one of the many benefits of the achievement of standards.

There are many standards and frameworks you can choose from, with some that are more appropriate to corporate-level use, while others are an excellent base for SMBs who are just starting their journey into cybersecurity.

GDPR provides the European Union’s protection of data, and as of the year 2018, it’s been obligatory for all European companies that process and manage data. There isn’t any obligatory certification required for GDPR, however the compliance is easily achievable.

Companies can demonstrate that they are in compliance with GDPR by documenting the entire process of processing data as well as implementing data protection measures like policies or training, as well as audits and training as well as, if it is possible, appointing an Data Protection Officer (DPO). In the event of a breach, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will scrutinize these. If a breach of GDPR is suspected , and if there’s a failure to adhere businesses could be subject to substantial penalties that can amount to up to 4 percent of the annual turnover.

It is important to note that since Brexit in the UK, the UK is no longer controlled on a national basis by GDPR. Instead there is a separate version called the UK-GDPR that is a part of an updated Data Protection Act 2018.

Cyber Essentials

The government of the United Kingdom’s Cyber Essentials scheme was developed in 2014 in order to offer small- and medium-sized enterprises an easy and cost-effective method to achieve a high standard of security. Comprising five essential technical safeguards, Cyber Essentials can help companies defend themselves against more than 80% of cyber-attacks.

Two levels of accreditation are available: Basic which permits an organization to submit an online self-assessment for check and confirm their compliance. Then there is Plus, which entails an accredited assessor conducting an audit of your systems in order to confirm their alignment with the standard’s control requirements.

ISO 27000 Series

It is important to note that the ISO (International Organisation of Standardization) standardization is globally recognizedand cover a wide range of cybersecurity methods that are best practices. The most sought-after and sought-after standard for companies, ISO 27001, lists the essential requirements for a top-quality Information Security Management System.

Establishing a solid Information Security Management System helps companies across all sectors reduce privacy and security risks through the development of effective risk management strategies and policies. The certification helps companies demonstrate their that they are in compliance with the data protection laws like the UK-GDPR along with DPA2018.


The Cybersecurity Framework developed by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides guidance for all businesses, assisting to attain a higher security and resilience. The framework of NIST is easily classified into five major branches which are: Identify, Protect Respond, Detect, and Recover. By aligning the policies and procedures in these roles, organizations can prove their competence in identifying and managing cyber security threats.


Certain standards are specifically targeted at certain industries. For instance it is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the norm for security of data within healthcare institutions especially within the USA.

In 1996, as a United States legislation, HIPAA obliges all businesses in the industry to adhere to the security and physical requirements outlined in the standard, and failure to adhere to the standard result in fines that could be very expensive for the organizations. According to HIPAA enforcers, in the year 2019 the financial penalty average exceeded $1.2m.

What is the significance of these Standards Important?

There are clear benefits for companies that adhere to the requirements of these standards. Doing it requires proactively implementing the appropriate measures, procedures and policies to ensure better security. This decreases the likelihood of a company being hacked, and in the event that it happens it guarantees that the company is fully prepared with emergency response plans and business continuity plans that minimize the damage.

Standards and the top cybersecurity certifications can also be an effective way to communicate directly with your stakeholders, clients as well as suppliers, partners and other organizations that you have a relationship with or are planning to collaborate with, that your company is taking security and cybersecurity seriously and has taken steps to show this. Many companies that are certified or conform to these frameworks are often able to see an increase in opportunities for business or certain contracts which require these standards to be adhered to. It may also be helpful in the application process for cyber-related insurance because it proves security efforts, which could reduce insurance costs.

Affiliating with official security standards is an excellent way for businesses to plan their approach to cybersecurity . They will frequently they will be recognized for these efforts by way of an official certification. For SMB which may be more stretched with respect to budgets and resources, meeting these standards can be a reasonable method of increasing security without the need to invest in the most sophisticated cybersecurity tools and services.

The use of standards to build the foundations for your company’s cybersecurity plan will allow you to be aware of what your business requires and to implement the most appropriate solutions to defend against the risks you have identified. It’s not just about saving costs by reducing the purchase of faulty or unneeded products and services, but it also gives you an established framework to base future security decision on and ensures that any investment you make will yield the desired results.