Police Digital Security Centre launches new certification scheme

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The Police Digital Security Centre (PDSC) has launched a new certification scheme for cybersecurity companies, covering two parts, to recognise providers who have developed innovative solutions that address known cybersecurity threats.

Developed in collaboration with BSI (British Standards Institution), the new certification scheme was launched on Monday 17 February, at the TechUK offices in London, with representatives from PDSC and BSI on hand to explain the scheme in more detail.

The scheme has been designed to help SMEs make informed decisions when choosing a vendor to meet their specific cybersecurity needs. A list of these independently assessed and trusted providers will be available through the PDSC website.

The ‘Digital Security Innovator’ is the first part of the certification and is aimed at start-ups who are seeking an independent assessment of their product or service, including concepts of design. This can help them secure funding from investors or support an application for one of the industry-backed incubator programmes.

The ‘Digital Security Provider’ is the second part of the certification and is aimed at more established cyber companies. Successful applicants must demonstrate that their products or services meet recognised industry standards.

Successful applicants for both certificates will be presented with a police/BSI certificate, valid for 12 months.

Simon Newman, Head of Cyber and Business Services for Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, said: “It is our intention that a police-backed cybersecurity certification scheme will ensure an easily identifiable platform of best practice across the digital landscape. This will be a unique and recognisable certification that will assist those seeking a clear differential in a very crowded and ever-changing digital security marketplace.

“Organisations will benefit from it because it will enable them to demonstrate that they have taken the necessary security steps to instil confidence in their product and supply chain and help end users choose effective and appropriate solutions.

“The certificates aren’t just about the product or service. From our experience working with thousands of SMEs over the past few years, trust is essential in building relationships with vendors that keep SMEs safe from the most common types of cyber-crime. Therefore, in addition to reference checks, we require all customer-facing staff to undergo police vetting.”

David Mudd, Global Digital Product Director at BSI said: “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with the PDSC to launch and deliver this new certification scheme and are delighted to recognise those organisations that are early adopters of the scheme. Cybersecurity has never been more important for businesses and we’re committed to helping organisations of all sizes to improve their information resilience.”

The insurance company Aviva supports the standards set out by PDSC.

Neil Arklie, Head of Cyber Insurance says: “Aviva works with a number of approved suppliers to help customers manage the many risks they face, but increasingly with cyber threats it is hard to identify trusted providers of services and products.

“Aviva are proud to support the Digital Security Provider certificate which will help businesses make the right choices when choosing a cyber service or provider. Additionally, we know future innovation is required in this specialist area and through the Digital Security Innovator, start-up cyber businesses will benefit from being able to seek independent assessments on their products or services.”

A number of early adopters of the scheme were also at the launch explaining why they believe it can help SMEs make more informed choices about their cybersecurity provider.

Marathon Information Technology & Support Tree IT are the first companies to achieve the Digital Security Provider certificate and Child Safe VPN the first to achieve the Digital security Innovator certificate.

Peter Speck, Marathon Information Technology, said: “Marathon is excited to further support the SME market in establishing security to defend against cyber-attacks and the impact that cyber-crime has on small companies.

“As an established, highly qualified provider of Information Security services and skills, our Digital Security Provider status underpins our credential and we look forward to engaging with the PDSC to help organisations to protect themselves in a proactive way, avoid the risks associated with cyber-attacks and grow their businesses confidently, assured that data and information is secured using best practice”.

James Carson, Support Tree IT, said: “We work in a very new market where certification has not been standardised or established until now. We are thrilled to have achieved certification and officially be Secured by Design. It is a relief to not only be aware of, but also be a part of this scheme that will ensure that due diligence is gone through to authorise organisations to be fit to serve the ever growing digital security market. We are honoured at Support Tree to be one of the first to have been through the process and to have come out officially certified.

“The process to become a certified body has itself been a great way for us to check we are setting the right standards and practicing what we preach, it is a rubber stamp for Support Tree on its processes, systems and people.

“It is also great from a commercial perspective to be part of something so early on and hope to have some influence on the progression of the scheme and the impact it will have on its certified members. We look forward to meeting new and existing contacts of the PDSC and helping them to achieve higher levels of data security.”

Stuart Brown, Chief Technology Officer of Child Safe VPN Ltd, said: “Our Child Safe VPN services set a new standard in online child safety beyond those set out by the NSPCC, Ofsted and other advisors to the child care industry. With such a set of products it was extremely important for us to ratify the service we offer formally in some way.

“The Police Digital Security Innovator certification process through PDSC and BSI has given us that level of scrutiny, trust and credibility in the UK and Global markets we need in order to offer our solutions to the public and businesses alike. Online Child Safety can never be taken too seriously and we aim to continue to improve and offer even better online protection as technology evolves. We are extremely proud to receive such an accolade.”


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