UK MOBILE OPERATOR Vodafone has become the first telecoms outfit to win UK government Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.
The UK government launched its two-tier Cyber Essentials security scheme in June as a way for companies that handle personal data to demonstrate that they are secure and trustworthy.
Vodafone announced that it has won Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation (PDF) on Tuesday, making it the first telecoms company to do so, with its internal IT systems scoring a 100 percent pass rate when it was tested by auditors. With a "Plus" certificate, Vodafone head of technology security Howard Pinto 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."
Ed Vaizey, UK 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.
"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.
"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."
Other telecoms operators will be forced to follow suit from 1 October, when the UK government will demand that all suppliers bidding for contracts involving the handling of personal and sensitive data be Cyber Essentials certified. µ