Small businesses are increasingly the target of cyber-attacks!

A scary yet true statement. With limited resources and often without a dedicated IT security team, these businesses are prime targets for cybercriminals. Enter Cyber Essentials, a government-backed Cybersecurity certification scheme that offers a robust yet achievable standard for small businesses looking to protect themselves from the most common cyber threats. I’m going to explain what Cyber Essentials is, why it’s crucial for small businesses, and how obtaining this certification can safeguard your business and bolster your reputation.

The Importance of Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

There is a myth around that small businesses aren’t worth it for cyber criminals. That is, they only target big corporations, but it is just that… A MYTH. This is because small businesses often operate with less sophisticated defence systems, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals.

According to the NFIB Fraud and Cyber Crime Dashboard, just here in the East Midlands alone, there have been almost 50 cyber-attacks on small businesses and sole traders since the beginning of 2024, each resulting in financial losses that’s over 2 a week! This statistic starkly highlights the reality that cyber threats are not “a big company problem” they carry the potential to devastate financial stability and compromise sensitive data to everyone. The impact of these attacks can extend beyond immediate financial loss, leading to long-term damage to the business’s reputation and the loss of customers’ trust and potentially business!

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a simple yet effective, Government-backed scheme that aims to help organisations, especially small to medium-sized businesses, protect themselves against a whole range of the most common cyber-attacks. Set up by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the scheme focuses on five critical technical controls: secure configuration, boundary firewalls, access controls, malware protection, and patch management. There are two levels of certification: Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus, offering varying degrees of scrutiny and assurance.

Benefits of Cyber Essentials for Small Businesses

Protection Against Common Cyber Threats:

Achieving Cyber Essentials certification ensures your business has essential protections against many cyber-attacks like phishing, malware, and hacking attempts safeguarding your operations and sensitive data.

Enhancing Business Reputation and Trust:

In an era where data breaches are a major concern for customers, demonstrating that your business is certified by displaying the cyber essentials badge on your website and email signature can significantly enhance trust and confidence among your customers and potential clients.


For businesses in certain sectors, Cyber Essentials certification is a requirement for bidding on public sector contracts. Moreover, it demonstrates compliance with data protection regulations, potentially avoiding hefty fines.

How to Achieve Cyber Essentials Certification

The certification process for Cyber Essentials is designed to be straightforward, allowing small businesses without extensive IT expertise to achieve it. It involves a self-assessment questionnaire, verified by an external certification body, focusing on compliance with the five control themes. For Cyber Essentials Plus, an additional hands-on technical verification is conducted. Preparation tips include conducting an internal review of your current Cybersecurity practices and seeking advice from certified bodies or consultants specialising in Cyber Essentials.

Costs for Cyber Essentials certification depend on the type of certification body chosen and the size of the business. However, because it is backed by the UK government, it is seen to be a good investment for small businesses. Lower insurance rates and more business opportunities can quickly provide ROI of getting certified. I know running a small business means you’re constantly busy. I know that you probably don’t know enough about firewalls or security settings to be able to fill out the self-assessment form and answer questions about them easily.

But we can help you with that. Get in touch with us here at Mooncomputers by phoning 01604 879 330 or emailing us at and we can help you navigate the assessment and get certified.