Cyber Essentials scheme: overview

Cyber Essentials is a government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats.


Cyber Essentials website


Cyber Essentials is a set of basic technical controls organisations should have in place to protect themselves against common online security threats.

Cyber Essentials is suitable for all organisations, of any size, in any sector.

As well as helping to guard your organisation against cyber attack, Cyber Essentials demonstrates your commitment to cyber security to your customers and suppliers.

The government requires all suppliers bidding for contracts involving the handling of certain sensitive and personal information to hold an up to date Cyber Essentials certificate.

The scheme was launched with backing from industry including the Federation of Small Businesses, the CBI and a number of insurance organisations which are offering incentives for businesses.

Since then, 120,000 certificates have been awarded to businesses, charities, educational institutions and other organisations.

Further guidance

Free cyber security guidance, training and support is available from the government:

Don’t delay - take action to protect your business now.

Published 7 April 2014
Last updated 3 March 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added updated link to Cyber Essentials website. Updated details about the scheme. Included links to new free cyber security guidance and training.

  2. Out of date Cyber Essentials documents and information have been removed from this page. A new Cyber Essentials website containing full information on the scheme is now available at the link stated on the page above.

  3. The 'Cyber Essentials Scheme: Assurance Framework' (BIS/15/72) has been updated.

  4. Cyber Essentials Summary, Requirements and Assurance Framework published.

  5. First published.