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What is the “Essential 8”

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the threat of cyber attacks looms larger than ever before. Organisations of all sizes and industries are at risk, and it’s crucial that they take steps to protect themselves. That’s where the Essential Eight comes in.

The Essential Eight is a set of cybersecurity strategies and controls developed by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). These strategies are designed to be scalable and adaptable to different organisations, and they are based on the most common types of cyber threats.

So what are the Essential Eight? Let’s take a closer look.

  1. Application Whitelisting Application whitelisting is the practice of only allowing approved and trusted applications to run on a system. This can help prevent malware and other malicious software from being installed on a computer or network.
  2. Patching Applications Keeping software up-to-date with the latest security patches is critical to protecting against cyber attacks. Cyber criminals often exploit vulnerabilities in software to gain access to networks and systems, so it’s important to stay on top of patching.
  3. Restricting Administrative Privileges Limiting access to administrative accounts and permissions is another important strategy. By reducing the number of people who have access to sensitive data or system controls, organisations can minimise the risk of insider threats or accidental security breaches.
  4. Patching Operating Systems In addition to patching applications, it’s important to keep operating systems up-to-date with the latest security patches. This can help prevent cyber criminals from exploiting vulnerabilities in the underlying infrastructure.
  5. Multi-Factor Authentication Using more than one method of authentication to verify a user’s identity is a best practice for securing sensitive information. Multi-factor authentication typically involves something the user knows (like a password) and something the user has (like a smartphone or key fob).
  6. Backing Up Data Regularly backing up critical data can help minimise the impact of a cyber attack. If an organisation’s systems are compromised, having backups of important data can make the recovery process much smoother.
  7. Network Segmentation Dividing networks into smaller, more manageable segments is a key strategy for limiting the spread of cyber threats. By creating smaller, isolated network segments, organisations can minimise the impact of any breaches that do occur.
  8. Daily Log Monitoring Finally, daily log monitoring is an important practice for detecting and responding to security incidents in a timely manner. By regularly reviewing logs, organisations can identify potential security breaches and take action to mitigate them.

Implementing these Essential Eight strategies can help organisations improve their cybersecurity posture and reduce the risk of cyber attacks. However, it’s important to remember that cyber threats are constantly evolving, and organisations need to stay vigilant and adapt their strategies accordingly. By staying informed and taking proactive steps to protect their data and systems, organisations can minimise the risk of cyber attacks and keep their business running smoothly.

If you feel that your business isn’t currently implementing one or more of the Essential Eight, don’t panic. Oper8 Global can help. We offer a free cyber security posture review to help you understand your current security measures and identify areas for improvement. Our team of experts can help you implement the Essential Eight strategies and other best practices to keep your business safe from cyber attacks.

Contact us today using the form below to schedule your free review and discover how Oper8 Global can help you protect your business from becoming another cyber security statistic.

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