NCSC inviting organisations to cyber advisory service

The new Cyber Advisor scheme will offer assured cyber security consultancy services to SMEs, helping them achieve a minimum standard of security.

The National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC) is inviting organisations to help develop a new Cyber Advisor service. The initial 100 Cyber Advisor assessments will be funded by the NCSC.

A Cyber Advisor will be an individual assessed by the NCSC as having a good understanding of baseline security controls and the ability to provide practical help to companies who want to achieve them.

Qualified Cyber Advisors will initially focus on helping their customers meet Cyber Essentials’ five technical controls – firewalls, secure settings, access controls, malware and software updates – by identifying and helping implement improvements that are right for the size and needs of their customer.

An NCSC spokesman says: "A company engaging the help of a Cyber Advisor doesn’t need to be aiming for Cyber Essentials certification; those controls are being used as a baseline as they help guard against the most common cyber attacks.

"Under the new scheme those organisations who have a qualified Cyber Advisor on their staff will be able to apply to become an NCSC Assured Service Provider. Only organisations who become Assured Service Providers and employ a qualified Cyber Advisor will be able to offer NCSC Cyber Advisor services to customers."

To launch this service, the NCSC is now inviting both individuals and organisations offering cyber advice to register their interest in the scheme.  

The NCSC will initially be fully funding the initial 100 Cyber Advisor assessments. Individual applicants - with differing levels of experience and skills, and from diverse backgrounds across the UK - will be selected to test. Those individuals who complete a free assessment will be asked for feedback and to provide data to help the NCSC develop the Cyber Advisor scheme further and ensure that Cyber Advisors can offer the required knowledge and skill set.

Cyber Advisors will be expected to help organisations by:

  • Conducting Cyber Essentials gap analysis to assess the organisations internet-facing IT identifying where it fails to meet the Cyber Essentials controls.
  • Developing reports on the status of the organisation’s Cyber Essentials controls for senior leadership, detailing the requirements that are met and those that are not, describing why controls are not met and the risks the organisation is exposed to, as well as the recommended actions to take.
  • Working with the business to agree remediation activities.
  • Planning remediation activities that align to the risk and business priorities.
  • Implementing remediation activities – or guide technical teams to do so – sympathetically to operational activities.
  • Developing and presenting post-engagement reports summarising the engagement and detailing any remediation work completed, pointing out any residual risk with recommendations for reducing those risks.

To be eligible to offer Cyber Advisor services under the scheme organisations will need to become an Assured Service Provider registered with IASME and employ at least one formally assessed Cyber Advisor.

Find out more information here. 

 

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