First Local Firm To Get Government Cyber Accreditations

Chamber Members, Reform IT, a managed IT service and security provider (MSP) based in Cheltenham has become the first in the local area to be accredited as both a Cyber Advisor and a Cyber Essentials Certification Body.

This new accreditation will place Reform IT among an elite group of cyber advisers and cyber essentials certification bodies across the UK.

The Cyber Advisor scheme was launched by the Government’s official National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the IASME Consortium, aimed at helping businesses to protect themselves from increasing cyber threats.

Initially developed for IT products and services suppliers to the central UK government, the Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certification demonstrates that an organisation has an essential level of cyber protection in place. NCSC approved Cyber Advisors provide small and medium-sized organisations across a range of industries with reliable and cost-effective cyber security analysis, advice and practical support, focusing on the key areas of the Cyber Essentials criteria.

Prominent cyber attacks in the region have spiked in recent years, with businesses, schools and even the local council becoming victims. Cheltenham’s own Pates Grammar School was one of 14 targeted by Vice Society – a ransomware gang involved in attacks in both the UK and USA; meanwhile, Gloucester City Council was held to ransom by Russian criminals in 2021, costing them £1.14million and causing 18 months’ worth of disruption.

According to the Government’s Cyber Breaches Survey 2024, 18 per cent more businesses across the UK have recalled a breach or attack in the last 12 months compared to findings the year before, with phishing remaining the top attack vector. Despite the growing threat landscape, just three in ten businesses have undertaken cyber security risk assessments in the last year with only around a third deploying security monitoring tools – the same number as the previous year.

On receiving accreditation, Neil Smith, Managing Director at ReformIT, said: “It’s a real honour to have ReformIT recognised as both a Cyber Essentials Certification Body and a Cyber Advisor. This means that we are the only firm locally to be able to offer complete end-to-end government approved security assessment and certification under one roof; from a cyber security gap analysis, hands-on implementation, to NCSC Cyber Essentials certification.”

Neil added: “Previously, Cyber Essentials certification tended to be more for the very large and complex organisations, often from the finance or defence sector but now with digital transformation top of every company’s agenda, basic cyber security is critical for any sized business or industry. The security of all companies contributes to the protection of UK national security while being Cyber Essentials certified opens doors to government and public sector contracts that previously could have been out of reach.

“Cyber security is a tricky thing to get right if you don’t already know how or have a trusted advisor on your side; the fact of the matter is that nobody is off limits when it comes to organised cyber-crime, whether you are a small business or a larger enterprise. As an MSP, we get under the bonnet of a business and its IT infrastructure; conducting an MOT of sorts to ensure that the wheels keep turning without any nasty surprises along the way.”

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