Kytec can assess your current environment and strengthen your organisation’s security using the framework from the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) – The Essential 8 cybersecurity strategies.
Cybersecurity has become a top priority for organisations of all sizes and industries and costly breaches are commonplace in news stories. The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has developed a set of cybersecurity strategies known as the “Essential 8” to help organisations mitigate the risk of cyber threats and protect their valuable data and systems. By adopting these strategies, you can improve your organisation’s security posture, reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and safeguard your digital assets.
What is the ASD Essential 8?
The ASD Essential 8 is a prioritised list of mitigation strategies designed to provide practical guidance for organisations to enhance their cybersecurity measures. These strategies are divided into three categories: Preventing malware delivery and execution; limiting the extent of cyber security incidents; and detecting and recovering from cybersecurity incidents. The eight strategies are:
1. Application whitelisting: Permit only approved and trusted applications to run on your systems, preventing unauthorised software and malware from executing.
2. Patching applications: Regularly update all applications to fix known vulnerabilities and prevent exploitation by cybercriminals.
3. Configuring Microsoft Office macro settings: Limit the use of macros in Office documents to prevent malicious code execution.
4. User application hardening: Block untrusted web content and restrict the use of potentially dangerous features in web browsers and email clients.
5. Restricting administrative privileges: Limit the number of users with administrative access and enforce strong authentication methods to prevent unauthorised access to systems.
6. Patching operating systems: Regularly update operating systems to address known security vulnerabilities.
7. Multi-factor authentication: Implement multi-factor authentication for sensitive systems, remote access, and high-risk users to enhance security.
8. Daily backups: Regularly back up critical data and store backups securely to ensure quick recovery from data loss or ransomware attacks.
Why is adopting the Essential 8 important?
Implementing the ASD Essential 8 strategies can significantly reduce your organisation’s exposure to cyber threats. The importance of adopting these strategies lies in the following benefits:
1. Comprehensive security approach: The Essential 8 provides a multi-layered approach to security that addresses various attack vectors, making it difficult for cybercriminals to breach your organisation’s defences.
2. Mitigating targeted attacks: The Essential 8 strategies are designed to counter the tactics and techniques used by advanced threat actors, reducing the risk of targeted attacks.
3. Positive ROI: Implementing these strategies can help prevent costly security breaches and data loss, reducing the financial impact of cyber threats on your organisation.
4. Improved compliance: Many regulatory frameworks and industry standards, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), require organisations to implement strong cybersecurity measures. Adopting the Essential 8 can help you meet these requirements and avoid non-compliance penalties. Not having robust security in place can limit the number of organisations that will do business with you.
5. Enhanced reputation: A robust cybersecurity posture can enhance your organisation’s reputation, helping you gain customer trust and maintain a competitive edge. And the converse is also true. Consider the costly brand damage done to Optus and Medibank for example.
Kytec can help by running a gap analysis which identifies the risk associated with the maturity level of Essential 8 implementation and can then provide recommendations for improvement and risk mitigation. Kytec can then implement these recommendations. The action plan is prioritised based on risk. And obviously continuous monitoring and review are a key part of the process.
Another important part of risk mitigation is training and educating employees since their actions can often lead to costly breaches.
Adopting the ASD Essential 8 is a critical step in strengthening your organisation’s cybersecurity posture. By implementing these strategies, you can better protect your digital assets, reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, and ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. Start your journey towards a more secure organisation by assessing your current security posture with a Kytec gap analysis and prioritising the implementation of the Essential 8 strategies.
Kytec works with a carefully selected set of security vendors. Below are some useful whitepapers that show how their capability aligns to the Essential 8 framework.