Vodafone UK has become the first telecommunications provider and the first multi-national organisation to have been awarded the HM government-backed new enhanced cyber security accreditation, Cyber Essentials Plus.To achieve the new accreditation, Vodafone UK’s customer, internal information and IT systems were all tested by auditors for compliance to a new cyber security standard and receive a 100% pass rate.
Howard Pinto, Head of Technology Security at Vodafone UK said: “We take cyber security and protection of our customers’ data very seriously. We want our customers to be assured that when they do business with us, we are doing everything possible to protect their data, our critical systems and business operations. To be the first telecoms company and the first multi-national 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.”
The accreditation is part of the two-tier Cyber Essentials Scheme that was launched on 5 June 2014. The scheme certifies that an organisation has met a number of criteria to help protect the organisation’s information and IT systems against cyber attacks. It outlines the basic controls all organisations should implement to mitigate the risk from common internet based threats. The Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation offers a higher level of assurance through the external testing of an organisation’s cyber security approach.
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “Protecting personal data depends on good cyber security, and the threats and challenges are getting ever more sophisticated. Organisations need to take cyber security seriously, so it’s reassuring that Vodafone UK has 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.”
It is anticipated that the new Cyber Essentials scheme will become an increasingly important standard for businesses who wish to work with public sector organisations in the future. From 1 October this year, HM Government will require all suppliers bidding for certain personal and sensitive information handling contracts to be Cyber Essentials certified.
Vodafone is one of the world’s leading mobile communications providers, operating in more than 30 countries and in partnership with networks in over 40 more. Across the world, the company has almost 360 million customers and around 19 million in the UK. Vodafone made the first ever mobile phone call on 1 January 1985 from London to its Newbury HQ. Still located in Newbury, the company now employs over 8,000 people across the UK.