Network operator Vodafone has been awarded the new cyber security accreditation, Cyber Essentials Plus. The government-endorsed standard offers a higher level of assurance through the external testing of an firm's cyber security approach.
The accreditation is part of the government's two-tier Cyber Essentials Scheme, launched on June 5, with organisations having to meet a number of stringent criteria to help protect its data and computer systems against cyber attacks.
It outlines the basic controls all organisations should implement to mitigate the risk from common internet-based threats.
From 1 October, the government will require all suppliers bidding for a number of information-handling contracts to have a Cyber Essentials certification.
Speaking on the news, Howard Pinto, head of technology security at Vodafone, said that the company wants customers to be assured that when they do business with Vodafone, it is doing everything possible to protect their data, its critical systems and business operations.
'To be the first telecoms company, and the first multinational, to have met the new Cyber Essentials Plus standard highlights our ongoing commitment to ensuring the security and protection of our IT and customer systems and online assets,' he said.
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, added, 'Protecting personal data depends on good cyber security, and the threats and challenges are getting ever more sophisticated.'
He said it was reassuring that Vodafone had taken the lead to become the first telecommunications provider in the UK to have achieved the Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.
'Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus enable businesses to demonstrate that they are taking action to control the risks - critical if they are to protect themselves, their customers and their brand,' he concluded.