European Cyber Security Month – find out about the UK’s first police-backed cyber-security certification schemes

October is European Cyber Security Month, an annual awareness campaign that promotes cyber security across Europe. The aim is to raise awareness of cybersecurity threats, promote cybersecurity among citizens and organizations; and provide resources to protect themselves online, through education and sharing of good practices.

Cyber-crime is one of the fastest growing threats to businesses in the UK, with a recent report by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport estimating that around a third of all UK businesses have suffered at least one cyber-attack or breach within the past 12 months.

So how does a business go about protecting itself? Many small businesses seeking help often find it difficult to know who to turn to for advice and support in meeting their cyber security needs. With thousands of suppliers, it can be hard to find a trusted provider who will deliver a product or service that's right for the end user and at the right price.

The Police Digital Security Centre (PDSC) has launched the first police-backed cyber-security certification schemes in collaboration with BSI (British Standards Institution), the UK’s national standards body, to help support organisations with digital security challenges.

The combination of two well-known and trusted brands will help police forces signpost small and medium organisations towards a list of locally based companies who have successfully achieved the Digital Security Providers certification by consistently demonstrating compliance with tough industry standards. It will also help police forces champion local organisations who have successfully achieved the Digitally Aware or Digitally Resilient certificate, generating opportunities for them to grow and innovate online.

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Simon Newman, Head of Cyber and Business Services for Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, said: “It is our intention that a police-backed cyber-security certification scheme will ensure an easily identifiable platform of best practice across the digital landscape.

“This will be a unique and recognisable certification that will assist those seeking a clear differential in a very crowded and ever-changing digital security marketplace. Organisations will benefit from it because it will enable them to demonstrate that they have taken the necessary security steps to instil confidence in their product and supply chain and help end users choose effective and appropriate solutions”.

Commenting on the collaboration, David Mudd, Global Digital Product Director at BSI said: “We’re delighted to be working with the PDSC in order to help organisations improve their digital security and are committed to supporting organisations with this challenge. Through awareness, training, testing and other information security-minded practices, we help organisations to capture the opportunities that digital business can bring, minimize their risk and enhance resilience.”

The new certification schemes consist of three separate certifications.

The Digital Security Provider certification is aimed at organisations who offer digital security products, services or consultancy. It has been designed to help small and medium sized organisations find a digital security provider who they can trust to deliver a product or service that meets their needs. Successful applicants will have met tough industry standards and will achieve Secured by Design ‘Police Preferred Specification’ for 12 months.

The second and third certifications focus on organisations being digitally aware / resilient.

The entry-level certificate, called ‘Digitally Aware’, is aimed at organisations that are at a low risk of cyber-crime. To obtain a certificate, applicants will need to complete an online questionnaire that is based on the National Cyber Security Centre’s ‘Small Business Guide’.

For organisations with a higher level of risk, the ‘Digitally Resilient’ certification is aimed at helping organisations demonstrate that they have implemented appropriate controls to reduce their risk. ‘Digitally Resilient’ requires additional assessments that are carried out by BSI.

The certificates can be applied for through the PDSC website. For more information, please visit www.policedsc.com

The PDSC is part of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI), a police owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives across the UK.

PCPI are a not-for-profit organisation who raise their own money at no cost to the Police Service or the public purse. Being a police organisation, PCPI has close working links with the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and Police and Crime Commissioners and have a governance board whose members include senior police officers from each of the four Home Nations.

As part of PCPI, and building on the success of the Secured by Design (SBD) brand which has been established for 30 years, the PDSC is uniquely placed to deliver a truly joined-up and consistent approach to tackling cyber-crime.