News article

Revealed: An accreditation that will help you stand out, but almost no advisers or planners use

There’s an accreditation that will increase the trust both prospective and existing clients, as well as professional connections, have in you, that almost no advisers or planners are using.

We all know that showing is better than telling. For example:

  • Showing the value of working with you through client videos, beats you telling people
  • Showing that you’re a trusted source by being quoted in the press, beats you telling people.

And, in these days of online fraud, showing your clients, prospects, and professional connections that you take online security seriously beats telling them that you do.

And that’s where the Cyber Essentials accreditation comes in.

If you’ve not heard of it before, Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed scheme run by the National Cyber Security Centre. It certifies organisations that have achieved a threshold level of IT security, giving peace of mind to clients that the firm they are dealing with takes online security and data protection seriously. Something that’s incredibly important in our profession.

However, very few firms in the UK have received the accreditation and only a tiny proportion of advice/planning firms are included in that number.

We know the power of showing instead of telling so we’ve partnered with BTRS, a global technology consultancy, to help you understand more and, ultimately, gain the accreditation for your firm.

We asked Jordan Gall, Managing Director of BTRS, to explain more.

Yardstick: “What is Cyber Essentials, why is it important, and what proportion of businesses have it in the UK?”

BTRS: “Cyber Essentials helps to mitigate hacking, phishing, and password guessing by malicious attackers by examining the current condition of a company’s technology procedures and processes. A recent government report has shown that 39% of UK businesses have reported a cybercrime breach in the last 12 months, but as of 2019, only 30,000 businesses have the Cyber Essentials certification, which equates to just 0.02% of UK private sector businesses with more than one employee.”

“What’s the process for obtaining the Cyber Essentials accreditation?”

“Cyber Essentials is acquired by the submission of a series of documents in place for each business including:

  • Security settings
  • Firewalls
  • User access control lists
  • Malware protection
  • Patch management.

BTRS supports businesses through every aspect of the Cyber Essentials application, including preparing all required documentation and addressing any shortfalls in the current security settings prior to the submission.”

“What are the main benefits to firms that have the accreditation?”

“The three main benefits of obtaining a Cyber Essentials Certification are as follows.

  1. The organisation will be protected against the most common types of cyber threats, many of which can be extremely costly for a business and can irreparably damage their reputation
  2. The organisation will be able to openly demonstrate to existing and prospective clients their commitment to protecting their data. They will be able to include their certification status on marketing materials and proposals, improving their messaging during the client acquisition process
  3. The organisation will be eligible for discounted, and in some cases, free, cyber-insurance provided by AIA UK.”

“What are the benefits to the clients of firms that have the accreditation?”

“Clients of advisers/planners with the Cyber Essentials certification are reassured that they are working with a firm that is officially certified by one of the world’s leading cyber authorities. They can sleep well at night knowing their personal data is secure, as the certification itself assists their provider with meeting strict GDPR requirements.”

“What are the costs of working with BTRS to get Cyber Essentials?”

“BTRS is extremely cost-competitive in the SMB/SME market for earning the Cyber Essentials Certification. We charge £900 for the application process compared to standard market rates of around £1,200-1,500.

Any additional work required, such as making changes to processes and security procedures to fix issues required to obtain the certification, is charged on a project basis, which will be agreed before any work is completed.

There is also a mandatory fee of £300, which is paid to the government upon submission of the application.”

“What should advisers/planners do who want to learn more?”

Click here to visit the BTRS website then complete the enquiry form. The team will then be in touch to move things forward.”

We’re here to help

The vast majority of UK-based advisers/planners take online security very seriously. However, the Cyber Essentials accreditation will help to identify any small holes and help to show both existing and potential clients, as well as professional connections, that you have all the bases covered.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be writing more about how advisers and planners can promote their accreditations, including their Chartered, Accredited or Certified status, and, of course, Cyber Essentials.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or queries about Cyber Essentials please email or call Jordan Gall ( / 020 4579 3892), who will be very happy to provide all the answers.

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