Implementing the Essential Eight framework

With the ever-growing array of cyber threats, including a rise in ransomware attacks, the Australian Government has been taking steps to address these challenges.

One of their initiatives to combat these threats is the planned mandate of compliance with the Essential Eight framework, which offers a comprehensive set of strategies to enhance cybersecurity and mitigate the impact of cyber threats.

Developed by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the Essential Eight aims to protect Microsoft Windows-based internet-connected networks, however the principles can be applied to other operating systems and cloud services.

The framework has three primary objectives – prevent attacks, limit attack impact, and data availability.

What is the Essential Eight framework? 

CMTG Technical Sales Manager Nick Hughes explains the framework provides a clear roadmap to address common vulnerabilities across organisations and protect against prevalent cyber threats.

“The Essential Eight framework offers a proactive and adaptable approach to counter cyber threats,” he says.

“At CMTG, we work closely with customers across various sectors to implement these strategies, ensuring their cybersecurity defences are robust and effective.”

The framework covers eight categories intended to limit the impact of cybersecurity attacks and improve an organisation’s ability to recover in the event of an attack.

The categories of the Essential Eight framework are:

  1. Application control
  2. Application patching
  3. Restricting administrative privileges
  4. Patching operating systems
  5. Configuring Microsoft Office macro settings
  6. Using application hardening
  7. Implementing multi-factor authentication
  8. Regular backups

As a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions, CMTG understands the importance of implementing the Essential Eight framework to combat cyber threats comprehensively.

“At CMTG, we are dedicated to guiding organisations in implementing strategies to ensure they are compliant with the Essential Eight framework,” Nick says.

“Our team of experts works closely with our customers to tailor these strategies to their unique needs and risk profiles. We provide technical expertise, innovative technologies, and ongoing support to ensure their cybersecurity defences are aligned with industry best practices.”

Maturity levels

The Government has established four maturity levels to help organisations implement the Essential Eight in a graduated manner and to assess their overall cybersecurity maturity.

Maturity Level Zero, the baseline, indicates weaknesses in an organisation’s cybersecurity posture that could facilitate compromise.

Maturity Level One focuses on adversaries using common techniques to gain access, often through exploiting vulnerabilities or social engineering.

Maturity Level Two involves adversaries with more advanced capabilities bypassing security controls and targeting credentials.

Maturity Level Three addresses adaptive adversaries who exploit weaknesses in a target’s cybersecurity posture, utilising advanced techniques to maintain access and evade detection within networks.

Organisations are recommended to identify a target maturity level suitable for their environment and progressively implement each level until the target is achieved.

Implementing Essential Eight

When implementing the Essential Eight framework and determining the appropriate maturity level, it is crucial to partner with a reputable IT and cybersecurity provider like CMTG.

Our Security Framework Audit and Compliance services offer a comprehensive approach to security, ensuring your organisation is secure and compliant with industry standards, including the Essential Eight framework.

We can assess your security measures and provide you with a detailed report outlining potential vulnerabilities and areas for improvement to ensure you are compliant with the Essential Eight framework.

CMTG will also provide you with guidance on how to address any identified issues, ensuring that your business is secure and in compliance with regulatory requirements.

To find out how we can help you fill out the form below to get in touch.

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