28th September 2021

Newcastle-based chartered accountancy and business advisory firm UNW has been awarded Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

Cyber Essentials is a two-tier government backed scheme that helps organisations protect themselves against the burgeoning threat of cyber-attacks.

The award is a clear sign of the firm’s commitment to maintaining the highest degrees of cyber security and therefore the safety and security of the data it holds. As well as enabling UNW to confirm its cyber security credentials, it adds the business to the list of certified companies on the IASME (Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises) consortium website.

To achieve the accreditation, the firm worked with Richmond-based IT Security and Information Governance consultancy Evolve North who have recently launched their Cyber Toolkit platform, providing a streamlined system to support organisations in achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

To gain the higher “Plus” accreditation, organisations are subject to a series of onsite assessments, differentiating it from the more fundamental Cyber Essentials certificate. As part of the process, UNW underwent internal and external vulnerability scans. A vulnerability scan is performed against internal or external networks identifying devices on those networks, and the operating systems, software and services they are running; this information is then compared to a catalogue of known vulnerabilities to determine whether any of the discovered software and operating systems is vulnerable to hackers.

Asked about attaining the accreditation, UNW’s Head of Operations Jacqui Brown said: “We are delighted to have achieved Cyber Essentials Plus status with the diligent assistance of Evolve North. In the face of a growing threat of cyber-attacks, we are committed to ensuring the safety and security of the data we hold. Our focus is always on looking after our clients and providing them with the best possible service and this certification reflects our continued investment in the most robust processes of protection to provide reassurance to them.” Evolve North’s Technical Director, David Moffatt said: “It was a pleasure to support UNW working through our new Cyber Toolkit platform. By completing the process of certification, UNW have helped protect their IT against cyber-attacks, providing a clear picture of their organisation’s cyber security level which assures both clients and stakeholders. Cyber Essentials Plus provides a greater peace of mind to organisations as it confirms that the controls the organisation has in place are working correctly.”

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