Funded Cyber Essentials programme for Northern Ireland businesses

News article

Help for small and micro businesses

All businesses face online threats but some organisations in certain sectors face an increased risk of cyber attacks, due to holding sensitive information or being perceived as easy targets.

For those sectors most at risk, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is running a Funded Cyber Essentials programme to help small and micro businesses implement five essential security controls.

These controls cover firewalls, secure settings, access controls, malware protection, and software updates. When implemented correctly, these controls can protect organisations against a wide range of the most common cyber threats.

How does Funded Cyber Essentials work?

Eligible organisations will receive 20 hours of free remote support from an NCSC-assured cyber security advisor. This support will focus on implementing the five technical controls, as set out in the Cyber Essentials scheme, and ensuring their effectiveness through a hands-on technical verification.

NCSC Funded Cyber Essentials Programme in Northern Ireland 23/24 is now closed. The UK-wide NCSC Cyber Essentials Funded Programme is still open.


Applications via the national programme are open to small or micro companies working on the development of:

  • fundamental artificial intelligence (AI) technologies
  • quantum technologies
  • engineering biology
  • the design and development of semiconductors / semiconductor IP blocks

To qualify for this scheme, companies must be:

  • a micro or small business (1 - 49 employees) registered in the UK and working on the development of eligible technologies

AND 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 January 2023 and is not currently in the process of applying for CE+ certification

For more, see information on the NCSC Cyber Essentials Funded Programme.

First published 19 January 2024