What is the Australian “Essential 8” Security Standard?

The “Essential Eight” is a cybersecurity framework developed by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) to help organizations in Australia enhance their cybersecurity posture and protect against a range of cyber threats. The framework provides a set of strategies that are considered essential for mitigating cyber risks and improving overall security.

The Essential Eight consists of eight key mitigation strategies, which are grouped into two categories: “Strategies to Mitigate Cybersecurity Incidents” and “Strategies to Mitigate Targeted Cyber Intrusions.” These strategies are designed to address various cybersecurity threats, including malware infections, unauthorized access, and data breaches.

Strategies to Mitigate Cybersecurity Incidents:

  1. Application Whitelisting: Only allow approved and known applications to run on your systems. This helps prevent the execution of malicious software.
  2. Patch Applications: Ensure that all software applications are up to date with the latest security patches to address known vulnerabilities.
  3. Configure Microsoft Office Macro Settings: Configure Microsoft Office macro settings to block macros from the internet and only allow vetted macros to run.
  4. User Application Hardening: Restrict the functionality and privileges of applications that pose security risks, such as web browsers and email clients.

Strategies to Mitigate Targeted Cyber Intrusions: 5. Patch Operating Systems: Keep operating systems up to date with the latest security patches to address vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Implement MFA for accessing sensitive systems and data to enhance authentication security.
  2. Daily Backups: Regularly back up important data and ensure that backups are isolated from the network to protect against data loss from ransomware and other threats.
  3. Disable Unnecessary Administrative Privileges: Minimize the number of users with administrative privileges and only use such accounts for administrative tasks.

The Essential Eight is not a one-size-fits-all solution but provides a set of best practices and guidelines that organizations can tailor to their specific needs and risk profiles. Implementing these strategies can significantly improve an organization’s resilience against cyber threats and help protect critical assets and data.

It’s important to note that cybersecurity is an evolving field, and organizations should regularly review and update their security measures to stay ahead of emerging threats and vulnerabilities. The ACSC provides detailed guidance and resources to help organizations implement the Essential Eight framework effectively.

To learn how Managed Computer Solutions can assist your company in becoming Essential Eight ready, Please contact us on 07 4829 4799

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