Funded Cyber Essentials Programme

Small organisations from specific sectors in the UK are being invited to take part in the Funded Cyber Essentials Programme.

The NCSC Funded Cyber Essentials Programme will be running again from January 2024.

All modern businesses face a threat from cyber attack but some organisations have a particularly increased risk. This might be because they hold sensitive information about the people that they work with, or they are perceived as an easy target by cyber criminals. For those sectors most at risk, the NCSC is launching a Funded Cyber Essentials Programme. This scheme aims to provide vulnerable organisations with help to implement baseline security controls to prevent the most common types of cyber attack.

Who is eligible for support?

Due to unprecedented high demand the Funded Cyber Essentials Programme is currently closed to new applications or expressions of interest from the Charity and Legal Aid Sectors

To qualify for this scheme, companies must be a micro or small business (1 to 49 employees) registered in the UK and working on one of the following:

  • The development of fundamental Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.
  • The design and development of semiconductors / semiconductor IP blocks. NB: this offer does not extend to companies whose sole purpose is the manufacture of semiconductors.
  • The development of fundamental Quantum technologies.
  • The development of fundamental Engineering Biology – specifically the design, scaling and commercialisation of biology-derived products and services that can transform sectors or produce existing products more sustainably.

AND meet the following criteria:

  • Has not previously participated in the NCSC Funded Cyber Essentials Programme.
  • Does not currently hold Cyber Essentials Plus (CE+) certification, has not been awarded CE+ certification since January 2023 and is not currently in the process of applying for CE+ certification.

If your organisation meets the above criteria and you would like to apply for the Funded Cyber Essentials Programme, please complete the form below.

How does it work?

The programme will offer practical support from an Advisor to achieve Cyber Essentials Plus at no cost to the organisation. Please note, this does not include the cost of any additional software or hardware identified by the Advisor that is required to achieve Cyber Essential Plus.

Qualifying organisations will receive around 20 hours of remote support with an Advisor. This time will be spent identifying and implementing improvements that are right for the size and needs of the organisation and supporting them in implementing the 5 Cyber Essentials technical controls. This will be followed by a hands-on technical verification that the controls have been put in place. 

If it is not possible for the organisation to achieve Cyber Essentials Plus, the Advisor will help organisations implement as many of the technical controls as possible and give the organisation a clear list of the additional actions they need to undertake to become compliant. The scheme is designed to lead an organisation through the technical controls required to achieve Cyber Essentials certification, followed by the audit for Cyber Essentials Plus. No previous cyber security certification or experience is necessary.

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is an effective, Government backed scheme that will help you to protect your organisation, whatever its size, against a whole range of the most common cyber attacks. Cyber Essentials Plus has the same simplicity of approach and the protections you need to put in place are the same, but for Cyber Essentials Plus a hands-on technical verification is carried out.

Cyber Essentials Readiness Tool

The Cyber Essentials Readiness Tool is a free online tool, accessible in the form of a set of questions on the IASME website. The process of working through the questions will tell you about your current level of cyber security and how you need to improve in order to certify to Cyber Essentials. On completion you will be directed towards appropriate guidance and be presented with a tailored action plan and detailed guidance for your next steps towards certification. We recommend that you work through the Readiness Tool as part of the Funded Cyber Essentials Programme, although this is not a requirement for participation.

Find Out More

Have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions or speak to our team