Cutec turns to PKF Francis Clark for Cyber Essentials Accreditation
IT outsourcing business, Cutec reached the Cyber Essentials Plus certification earlier this year after being audited by PKF Francis Clark’s specialist Cyber Service team.
Based in modern offices in Estover, Plymouth, Cutec is an IT Support, Solutions and Unified Comms company specialising in outsourced IT services for SMEs.
Cutec was established over 20 years ago but over the last two years, the business has doubled in size and now employs 13 people including a new apprentice and turns over in excess of £1m. Clients range from one-man-bands to 50-100 users throughout the South West and are drawn from a wide range of sectors from accountants, solicitors and financial advisers to builders, decorators, battery makers, hotels and golf clubs.
According to managing director, Mark Rowland, Cutec’s success is attributed to offering a valuable and personal service which has not only helped secure customer loyalty over many years but generates recommendations especially from its professional clientele.
“Because we support businesses with their IT, we have access to all their systems and networks, so they want to know that we are secure. Demonstrating that we have been independently verified as cyber secure gives our clients reassurance that they can trust our services. It also greatly enhances our reputation and credibility and gives us a competitive edge over those IT businesses that don’t have it.
“In order to become as secure as possible, we looked at the Cyber Essentials and IASME Gold and PKF Francis Clark was one of the businesses recommended to deliver it for us.”
IASME (Information Assurance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) is one of the five accreditation bodies set up by the UK Government to roll out the Cyber Essentials Scheme, which provides a set of five controls that organisations can implement to achieve a baseline of cyber security – boundary firewalls and internet gateways, secure configuration, access control, malware protection and patch management.
PKF Francis Clark is an IASME Certification Body with Gold Standard IASME accreditation for cyber security and provide other businesses with guidance and support in order that they can achieve their cyber accreditation.
Mark Rowland said:
“IASME recommended three Certification Bodies but PKF Francis Clark were the stand-out option, not just on the grounds of price but on the quality of the people and their approach to it.
“It was far more than checking our systems and then sending a bill. They gave some pre-guidance and they held our hands through the process. It can be quite daunting having your network checked over by someone else but Richard Wilding (Head of Cyber Services at PKF Francis Clark) made us feel that we were in the right hands.
“It was the positive attitude they had, the process they followed and the templates they provided to help us get our policies right. They were very proactive. They helped us prepare before they conducted the audit. We know that some other certifiers will come along without pre-guidance, conduct the audit and fail you. It’s like taking your car for its MOT knowing that your brake light isn’t working – you just wouldn’t do it.
“As a result, we have been recommending PKF Francis Clark cyber security services to our clients who need it. We’re passing business that way and we benefit because Richard’s team can certify networks as cyber secure but they can’t make any changes that may be required, so they will recommend us.
“The whole certification process took only two months from start to finish and it was quite an eye-opener. With our IT experience and expertise, we would have thought our systems were up to the mark and we were pretty much ready to go, but Richard was able to show us things we hadn’t previously considered.
“Being independently verified ticks a lot of boxes for us. Bigger clients are now asking for Cyber Essentials Certification before they’ll do business with you. We have a number of clients who work for the MoD. To fulfil MoD contracts they have to have Cyber Essentials Certification and because we have access to their networks, we have to as well. Without it, we would have lost some of our biggest customers.”