Agricultural consultancy reaps benefits of Cyber Essentials voucher scheme


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A leading North-east agricultural consultancy has upped measures to strengthen its digital defences in a determined drive to beat the growing scourge of cybercrime.

With more than 300 clients, Turriff-based Allathan Associates appreciates that it is critical to keep client data protected from the threat of a cyber attack.

So when the firm’s IT advisors Clark Integrated Technologies recommended they work towards achieving Cyber Essentials certification, they saw merit right from the outset.

An added incentive was the voucher scheme offering Scottish SMEs up to £1000 towards the cost of gaining the qualification.

Partner Steve Mackison said that keeping data secure and protected was utmost importance at Allathan Associates.

He said: “The advent of GDPR in May 2018 underlined the need for more diligence, and digital safety and security is something that we place a strong focus on because we work with clients’ private and confidential data,

“We have not had an attack, and nothing has penetrated our defences yet, but this a growing concern for all businesses, and that’s why we are taking proactive steps to enhance our cyber security.

“We all need to pay particular attention to cyber security, to reduce the risks of being open to an attack.

“Clark IT are our IT consultants and recommended gaining Cyber Essentials certification. We carried out a comprehensive review of business data handling, software and hardware and Clark were helpful in getting us through that.

“Having the certification is one of our steps towards making the firm increasingly cyber aware and cyber secure.”

SMEs have a one in two chance of experiencing a cyber breach, regardless of whether digital services are at the core of the business.

Cyber Essentials is run by the UK National Cyber Security Centre and is a cost-effective way for organisations to protect themselves against the vast majority of internet-borne attacks.

It’s particularly important to organisations who are bidding for public sector contracts as it’s a way of demonstrating a firm’s commitment to cyber security.

Owen Williams, security business analysist at Clark IT, strongly recommends SMEs and sole traders get their skates on to take advantage of the Government cash pot.

He said: “Any business handling personal and confidential client details has a responsibility to do everything possible to keep it safe and secure.

“Cyber Essentials is one of the ways that helps a business to do that, and we’ve helped a range of different SMEs across the North-east gain this important accreditation.”

To find out more about Cyber Essentials contact us here

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