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LOCAL ASSOCIATION: Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce achieves Cyber Essentials

Quick facts

SECTOR: Local Association
CLIENT: Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce
LOCATION: Watford, Hertfordshire
REQUIREMENT: Cyber security

‘This is something all businesses need to be aware of. Once you delve deeper into the facts published on cyber security, you see that it’s not just the big organisations that are getting attacked.  Knowing that the chamber is at risk of being targeted, I wanted to know how we could make sure that all our current security was up to the task of protecting us and if there was more that we could be doing’.


Just as the Government announces its push for more businesses to adopt Cyber Essentials, the Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce achieves its certification.

The Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce identified the need for tighter IT security to best protect its business. Whilst the chamber is made up of a small team, it holds a vast amount of personal data through its membership of around 400 people. To efficiently manage communications with its members and market its events, it is heavily reliant on its digital platforms and would be lost without its data base.

Lee Walsingham, CEO for the Watford & West Herts Chamber felt that with the nature of the business today and with the looming requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (The GDPR), the chamber needed solid assurance that it was running its IT as efficiently as possible, with the right level of security. On speaking with Dan Creedon, Technical & Security Architect at Assign-IT about security options, Lee was made aware of the Government-backed scheme called Cyber Essentials designed to help businesses strengthen their IT security which now forms a key part of the National Cyber Security Programme, having been created for the SME market.

Lee explains,

‘This is something all businesses need to be aware of. Once you delve deeper into the facts published on cyber security, you see that it’s not just the big organisations that are getting attacked.  Knowing that the chamber is at risk of being targeted, I wanted to know how we could make sure that all our current security was up to the task of protecting us and if there was more that we could be doing’.

A great feature of Cyber Essentials is that it is a simple process to go through. However, the Watford & West Herts Chamber wanted to make sure it was thorough and got an independent IT Certification Body to help them through the process. The Watford & West Herts Chamber engaged Assign-IT to help them define what is in and out of scope and complete the questionnaire based on the current set up. A gap analysis was conducted and the necessary changes were implemented before submitting the final questionnaire for assessment and certification.

As a certification body, Assign-IT was also able to issue the Certificate for the Chamber. Lee explains,

‘It was great to work with one supplier who could take us through the complete process.  Being an IT company with a security team meant that Assign-IT could help me through the entire journey and we are now Cyber Essentials certified! I’m really happy with our new status and it’s a great message to share with our members’.

Lee concludes,

‘Every company needs to safeguard its business and the data it holds and it is something I would encourage my members to look at. This process was painless and has been a real eye opener. Dan was fantastic at explaining everything to me. He even showed me an example of the number of illegal access attempts that are made on individual computers. In just a matter of hours, on one computer alone, there were 1,000’s! Whilst these weren’t successful attacks, I had no idea of the scale of this problem. It only backs up my initial concern for maintaining good IT security – we are all at risk and need to take this seriously!’

 

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