essential eight
Advanced Threat Protection

Essential Eight

May 5, 2022

Cybersecurity is essential for businesses of all sizes. Larger businesses typically have more resources to devote to cybersecurity, but even small businesses can take some basic precautions to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has released their “Essential Eight” security practices for organizations to follow in order to protect themselves from cyberattacks. The Essential Eight are a result of the ASD’s analysis of real-world cyber incidents, and they provide a comprehensive, yet pragmatic, approach to securing an organization’s systems and data. The framework is voluntary, but it’s recommended that organizations comply with it to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) Essential Eight framework 

The Essential Eight:

  1. Application Control 
  2. Application Patching
  3. Restrict Administrative Privileges
  4. Patch Operating Systems
  5. Configure Microsoft Office Macro Settings
  6. Using Application Hardening
  7. Multi-Factor Authentication
  8. Regular Backups

Application Control 

In the past, controlling access to applications and data was a daunting task for organizations. Employees often had uncontrolled access to sensitive information, and malware could easily spread within the network. Today, application control solutions can help you secure your organization by controlling which applications employees can use and how they can use them. Application control solutions work by identifying and controlling the applications that are used on your network. They can identify which applications are authorized for use and which ones are not. This helps to prevent unauthorized applications from being used, and it also helps to prevent malware from spreading within the network.

Application Patching

In the world of information technology, application patching is the process of applying software updates and patches to a computer program or system. This can be done manually or automatically by using software that detects and installs patches as they become available. The purpose of application patching is to fix vulnerabilities and security holes, as well as to add new features or functionality. It is an important part of keeping software up to date and secure, and should be done on a regular basis.

Restrict Administrative Privileges

Restricting administrative privileges is one way to help secure a computer network. By giving administrators only the privileges they need to do their jobs, you can minimize the damage that can be caused by a malicious user. Administrators should be granted the minimum amount of access necessary to perform their duties. In addition, all users should be required to use strong passwords and change them regularly.

Patch Operating Systems

A patch is a software update that fixes problems with or adds features to an operating system. Patching is important because it keeps your computer safe from attacks and vulnerabilities. It’s also a good way to keep your computer running smoothly. Operating systems release patches on a regular basis, so it’s important to keep your computer up-to-date.

Configure Microsoft Office Macro Settings

The Microsoft Office Macro Settings allow you to configure how macros are handled in Microsoft Office. You can choose to enable all macros, disable all macros, or enable only signed macros. This setting is found in the Trust Center under the Macro Settings category. The options you have available will depend on the version of Microsoft Office you are using.

Using Application Hardening

Application hardening is the process of securing an application against unauthorized access and use. This can be done through a variety of methods, including but not limited to: firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, access control lists, and user authentication.

Applications are a major target for cyber attacks, as they often contain sensitive data that can be used for financial gain or identity theft. Hardening an application can help to mitigate these risks and protect the data that is housed within it.

There are a number of steps that can be taken to harden an application. One of the most important is to ensure that the application is up-to-date with the latest security patches. In addition, it is important to use strong passwords and limit access to authorized users only.

Multi-Factor Authentication

In recent years, multi-factor authentication has become an important security measure for online accounts. This is because multi-factor authentication requires more than one form of identification to log in, making it harder for attackers to gain access. Multi-factor authentication can be a combination of factors such as a password, a security token, and biometric data.

Regular Backups

You’ve probably heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s certainly true when it comes to computer backups. Regular backups can save you from a world of pain if your hard drive fails or if you accidentally delete a file.

Backing up your computer regularly doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. There are a number of different software programs and services that can automate the process for you. Some programs even allow you to back up your files to an online storage service, so you can access them from anywhere.

No matter which backup method you choose, be sure to test it periodically to make sure your files are being backed up correctly. And don’t forget to back up your files regularly – once a week is a good rule of thumb.

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