Cyber Essentials: IASME Consortium reaches a new milestone

Today marks a significant milestone for IASME. Becoming the National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Essentials Partner was a bit daunting at the start with a very large amount of work to get set up for the launch today. However, we have found the support of Certification Bodies from across the whole scheme, the outgoing Accreditation Bodies and also the NCSC team incredibly strong and this has helped us reach this important transition date.

Hopefully you will have read the blog-post from Anne W this morning in which she outlined what constitutes a good partnership. I echo Anne’s kind words.

IASME has grown up around delivery of Cyber Essentials, the scheme is fundamental to our organisation and our passion. During the tender we were concerned that, despite being the Cyber Essentials market leader, our small company (only 25 people and 68% neurodiverse) might not be considered a suitable government partner for a National scheme.

We were, of course, delighted when we won the tender and found that we were wholeheartedly welcomed by the NCSC team. Although NCSC said that this would be a new way of working, to be honest we did not expect much to change. However, we immediately noticed a big difference in the relationship compared to when there were five different Accreditation Bodies delivering the scheme. We have actually moved to what feels like a real partnership where we support each other, communicate honestly and also have to trust each other.

The transition phase of the scheme, where we prepared to become the sole Partner, was a challenging one for us. However, the NCSC team have been supportive and have spent time listening to us. They have made a large effort to shield us from government bureaucracy and change seemingly unmovable rules for us to make the scheme work. We feel valued and empowered which is an amazing feeling for an SME partnering with a large government organisation!

Partnerships will remain a key theme to the on-going success of the Cyber Essentials scheme. Above, I have outlined how this is already delivering positive results through our work alongside NCSC. We are also excited to be working with an additional set of Certification Bodies who have already shown their enthusiasm and expertise within the growing network of national cyber security experts.

NCSC and IASME share a vision for making the nation more resilient to online cyber threats and we are really looking forward to the next 5 years.

Dr Emma Philpott, MBE
CEO IASME Consortium