In today's digital age, cybersecurity has become a top priority for companies of all sizes and sectors. The constant threat of cyber attacks looms large over organisations, making it essential to invest in robust IT security measures that demonstrate ongoing commitment to safety, privacy, and compliance. This is especially true for the UK’s housing associations, where ‘cyber liability’ has become a central part of many insurance programmes. 

But with so many competing priorities, and a lot of time and expense involved in achieving various accreditations, how can IT leaders ensure they reap the benefits of their investments, and that everything goes as smoothly as possible?

John Blackburn, operations director at Central Networks, shares the significance of Cyber Essentials certification, and highlights how a managed IT services provider can help alleviate the complexities associated with obtaining and maintaining these credentials…

How Cyber Essentials certification can strengthen organisations’ cyber security posture 

Cyber Essentials is a government-accredited scheme designed to assess a firm's readiness in defending against common cyber threats. By achieving certification, companies can showcase their dedication to safeguarding their IT systems and sensitive data — demonstrating not only their commitment to cyber security, but also acting as a prerequisite for obtaining cyber insurance coverage.

What is cyber insurance and why is it important?

As organisations combat the increasing sophistication and proliferation of digital attacks, cyber insurance has naturally gained immense importance too — providing financial protection and support in the event of a crisis.

However, many insurance providers now require organisations to have Cyber Essentials certification as a condition for coverage. This requirement ensures that firms have implemented fundamental security measures and reduces the risk of cyber incidents —  providing a clear picture of your organisation’s security posture, reassuring customers that you are working to secure your IT systems against threats, and increasing the attractiveness of your firm when attracting new business on a client and stakeholder level.

How a managed IT services provider can help ease the headache

Navigating the complex landscape of cybersecurity and Cyber Essentials certification can feel incredibly time-intensive. With resources already stretched in sectors such as social housing, managed IT services providers like Central Networks can prove a critical piece of the puzzle. Offering a comprehensive service to review your organisation's IT systems and ensure they meet the necessary requirements for the government accreditation, their impartial support can significantly reduce the headache throughout the entire process. 

Able to be instructed on an ad-hoc basis, or as part of a larger scale support service, the service includes:

Ultimately, we’re hyper-focused on streamlining the process and making it easier for firms to maximise their security posture and obtain the certification. In rare cases where remedial work is needed, Central also provides the required support — although our thorough assessments make it unlikely that significant issues will arise.

Take proactive steps today to safeguard your company and build a resilient cybersecurity foundation with Cyber Essentials certification. Get in touch, if you’re looking for specialist support to help ease the burden. 

As the digital world continues to evolve, an unrelenting demand for technology-enabled change has come to the fore in recent years – with organisations seeking support to help streamline operations, support changing working patterns, spearhead digital transformation success, attract and retain talent, and combat geopolitical turmoil.

The reality is that firms of all shapes and sizes are struggling to keep their heads above the water. While turning to a third-party IT provider offers a significant host of benefits – suppressing the stresses of today’s business climate and boosting strategic growth – it’s a realm that continues to be tainted by illusions and misconceptions.

Armed with a clear-eyed understanding of its capabilities – and know-how on how to find the right partner – companies can reap significant benefits from outsourcing their IT needs.

So, the specialists at Central have clubbed together to debunk five of the most notorious myths surrounding external support. Let’s delve a little deeper…

1. It’s only suitable for large organisations

Businesses choose to outsource their IT needs for a variety of reasons – from redirection of internal overheads to call centre services and risk management. The key thing is, not only can you tailor support to your budget, you also have the option to outsource your needs wholly or partially.

Whether you’re a fledgling start-up or an established SME, investing in third-party support is an effective way to streamline productivity, streamline operations, reduce costs, and progress through various growth stages.

2. In-house jobs will be compromised

IT staff have long been opposed to outsourcing, due to the misconception that managed service providers could replace existing jobs – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

External IT partners and their respective organisations have a symbiotic relationship, working as a complement to one another as opposed to being in competition. Giving teams access to a wider set of skills and expertise – as well as an extra pair of hands to pick up the load – enables them to focus on the more revenue-generating tasks.

Here at Central, our specialist service desk staff can, for example, take the heat off your in-house team by using their core capabilities to get to the root of an issue fast. Any incidents that need to be referred back will have all the history – as well as the majority of the time consuming, initial troubleshooting – already complete.

3. It makes you lose control of your business 

Once you have outsourced your IT needs, you can rest assured that power and authority still lie in your hands. While a managed service provider can offer advice, it’s ultimately your decision-making that will determine which technology will be implemented.

Communication and collaboration tools enable organisations to involve third parties to the extent they desire and interact in real time as and when they are required – whether on intermittent projects or for an ongoing need.

4. The only purpose is to cut operational costs

Of course, external providers can help significantly reduce costs in a whole host of areas – including training and recruitment – but that’s not the only value they can add to your IT strategy.

One of the primary reasons for outsourcing your business needs is that you should be able to ‘rest easy’ in the event of disasters – such as data breaches, phishing attacks, and nuisance network downtime. Whether these occur out-of-hours or your team are otherwise occupied, your IT provider will have it covered to help drive operations forward.

5. It guarantees lack of product or service knowledge

The core principal of outsourcing – not least in relation to Central – is an unequivocal dedication to customers and service. It’s not just about performing a task, but focuses on delivering exceptional quality, underpinned by a rich portfolio of experience and expertise, as well as a deep understanding of the firm they are serving.

Not only do managed IT providers commit to continuous development and learning throughout their teams, they also work hard to acquire specialist talent to bolster their skillset – which can be significantly more difficult in SMEs.

It goes without saying that outsourcing has it’s strengths and weaknesses – and it won’t necessarily be the best option for every team. However, by exploring an accurate depiction of the service, organisational leaders can make truly informed decisions on its suitability.

If you’d like to know more about outsourcing your IT requirements and third-party advisory, please don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Central team, today.


Central Networks are a strategic technology partner. Excellent technology is a given, customer service, trust and long-term relationships are what drive our business. We support CEOs, Heads of IT, IT technicians and transformation directors to ensure technology provides an edge to their organisations.

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