Cyber Essentials Funded Programme 2023 - 2024

NCSC Funded Cyber Essentials Programme in NORTHERN IRELAND

Small organisations from specific sectors in Northern Ireland are being invited to take part in the Funded Cyber Essentials Programme.

All businesses face a threat from cyber attack but some organisations have a particularly increased risk. This might be because they hold sensitive information about the people that they work with, or they are perceived as an easy target by cyber criminals. For those sectors most at risk, the NCSC is launching a Funded Cyber Essentials Programme. This scheme aims to provide vulnerable organisations with help to implement baseline security controls to prevent the most common types of cyber attack.

How does it work?

The Funded Cyber Essentials Programme will seek to help UK organisations meet the five technical controls of  Cyber Essentials – firewalls, secure settings, access controls, malware and software updates – by identifying and implementing improvements that are right for the size and needs of the organisation.

Organisations that meet the criteria and that are eligible for the programme will receive hands-on support from an Advisor at no cost, although please note that the NCSC and IASME won't provide any additional software or hardware that the Advisor identifies as required to achieve Cyber Essentials.

Qualifying organisations will receive around 20 hours of remote support with an Advisor. This time will be used to support an organisation in implementing the five Cyber Essentials technical controls, followed by a hands-on technical verification that the controls have been put in place. Working with IASME, organisations will receive a set amount of hands-on support from a cyber security expert to review technical controls and make configuration changes to the organisation’s systems if required.

Even if it's not possible for the organisation to achieve Cyber Essentials Plus, the Advisor will help it to implement as many of the technical controls as possible and give a clear list of the additional actions the organisation needs to take to be compliant. Those taking part in this scheme don't need Cyber Essentials certification, as the programme is designed to lead an organisation through the technical controls required to achieve certification. However a Cyber Essentials assessment will need to be completed before assessing for Plus.

Under the new scheme, those organisations who are eligible and sign up will receive support through one of IASME’s network of NCSC-assured Advisors. The Advisors will be used to deliver the Funded Cyber Essentials Programme on behalf of the NCSC, and all Advisors must go through training and pass the relevant assessments and exams before working on the programme.

Who is eligible for support in Northern Ireland?

To qualify for this scheme in NORTHERN IRELAND, organisations must either be:

  • a micro or small business (1 to 49 employees) that offers legal aid services


  • a micro or small charity (1 to 49 employees, excluding volunteers) that processes personal data, as defined under GDPR


  • a micro or small organisation (1 to 49 employees) that provides work supporting either Artificial intelligence (AI) or Quantum technologies or Engineering Biology or Semiconductors


Applying organisations must also meet the following criteria:

  • Has not previously participated in the NCSC Funded Cyber Essentials Programme
  • Does not currently hold Cyber Essentials Plus (CE+) certification, has not been awarded CE+ certification since May 2022 and is not currently in the process of applying for CE+ certification.

To apply for the Cyber Essentials Funded Programme in Northern Ireland please click here and complete the form