Introduction to the Essential Eight Compliance Framework 

essential eight compliance network intro

In today’s digital age, cyber threats are constantly evolving, and businesses and organisations of all sizes are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It’s essential to take proactive steps to protect your company’s systems and data from cyber threats, and one way to do that is by adopting a comprehensive cybersecurity framework.
One popular and effective framework is the Essential Eight compliance framework, developed by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) in 2017. The Essential Eight is a practical and prioritised guide outlining eight strategies organisations can use to improve their cyber security posture. The Essential Eight has 3 different maturity levels, which depending on the nature of your business and the inherent risk, you may need/want to achieve a higher maturity level.

Here’s a brief overview of the Essential Eight strategies:

  1. Application whitelisting: Creating a list of approved applications that are allowed to run on an organisations systems, in order to reduce the risk of malware infections.
  2. Patching applications: Regularly applying security patches to software applications to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks exploiting software vulnerabilities.
  3. Configuring Microsoft Office macro settings: Disabling macros by default and only enabling them for approved files, to reduce the risk of macro-based attacks.
  4. User application hardening: Configuring web browsers and other user applications to block malicious content and restrict functionality that is not needed for business purposes.
  5. Restricting administrative privileges: Limiting the number of users with administrative privileges to reduce the risk of unauthorised changes to systems and data.
  6. Patching operating systems: Regularly updating operating systems with security patches to address vulnerabilities.
  7. Multi-factor authentication: Requiring users to provide additional authentication factors, such as a fingerprint or a security token, to increase the security of systems.
  8. Daily backups of important data: Backing up important data on a daily basis to minimise the impact of data loss due to cyber-attacks or other disasters.

The Essential Eight is a practical and effective guide that has been widely adopted by government agencies and businesses in Australia. Compliance with the Essential Eight is not a one-and-done process – cyber threats are constantly evolving, and organisations must remain vigilant and adapt their security measures to stay protected.

In our next post, we’ll take a closer look at each of the Essential Eight strategies and provide tips on how to implement them in your organisation.

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