What is the ASD Essential 8?

To bolster the cybersecurity defenses of Australian businesses amidst rising cyber security attacks, the federal government through the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has developed the ASD Essential 8 framework to help organisations comply with the Australian Cyber Security Strategy.

Encompassing a set of eight controls, implementation of the ASD Essential 8 cyber security framework aims to significantly enhance the cyber resilience of organisations and protect against a range of evolving cyber threats. The eight controls are:

  • Application hardening
  • Configuring systems to reduce cyber attack surface area
  • Controlling administrative privileges
  • Data encryption
  • Implementing application allowlisting
  • Managing patch management processes
  • Restricting user access to systems and data
  • Training employees in cyber security awareness.

Previously, organizations were free to select strategies from the Essential 8, but the new model stresses the importance of implementing all eight strategies together. This approach recognizes their complementary attributes and broader focus on the evolving threat landscape, providing a more robust defense.

Organisations implementing the Essential 8 controls can expect to improve their defences against cyber threats significantly. A managed service provider such as Empire Technologies can help you to implement these controls and improve your organisation’s cyber security posture.

What is the ASD Essential 8 Maturity Model?

The ASD Essential 8 maturity model, released in July 2021, provides guidance to Australian organizations on how to implement the ASD Essential 8 strategies. The maturity model uses a scoring system from 0-3 to help organizations assess their security posture and identify the logical next steps to enhance their defenses.

Essential 8 Maturity Level 0

Represents weaknesses in an organisation’s overall cyber-security posture, which may lead to compromised confidential data, IT system integrity, and system access.

Essential 8 Maturity Level 1

Focus is controlled on protecting against widely available cyber-security exploits that are opportunistically pointed at many targets, with examples including common social engineering techniques and emails with Microsoft Office files containing malicious macros.

Essential 8 Maturity Level 2

Controls are aimed at targeted attacks from cyber-security adversaries with next-level tradecraft capabilities, who use common tools more effectively to circumvent security controls, like phishing and more sophisticated social engineering techniques.

Essential 8 Maturity Level 3

Adversaries are set apart from lower levels by being more adaptive and less reliant on commonly available tools and techniques. They exploit weaknesses in the target’s cyber-security posture that may be found in older software and inadequate monitoring and logging. These adversaries are willing and able to invest more time and effort to work around targets’ security controls.

Empire Technologies believes that while implementing the ASD Essential 8 maturity model is an effective first step to mitigate common risks of a cyber-attack, adequate cyber protection for many organisations requires going beyond the baseline Essential 8. Therefore, we advocate for a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity to ensure the best possible security measures for our clients.

What does the Essential 8 model mean for your company?

The Australian Government recommends that all organisations, regardless of location or size, adhere to the ASD Essential 8 framework to protect themselves from common cyber attacks and minimise the impact of security incidents. Implementing Essential 8 is not just a precautionary measure but is also cost-effective and provides several benefits for your organisation, including:

Increased security

Essential 8 provides a framework for businesses to ensure that their data and systems are well-protected from external threats.

Improved efficiency and productivity

Essential 8 helps businesses streamline processes and improve communication, resulting in a significant boost in performance.

Cost savings with Essential 8

Essential 8 can help businesses avoid costly damages caused by data breaches or security incidents. It can also reduce reliance on paper records and manual processes, resulting in long-term savings.

Overall, implementing Essential 8 can be a valuable addition to any organisation, as it increases security, improves efficiency, and saves money, allowing businesses to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.

Talk to the team of IT Specialists at Empire Technologies today

Get in touch with our team of IT Specialists to implement ASD Essential 8 in your organisation today:

How can I implement the ASD Essential 8 Maturity Model?

Implementing all eight mitigation strategies as a package is now the top priority in the ASD Essential Eight Maturity Model, as they are complementary and address various cyber threats. To ensure comprehensive protection against cyber threats, organizations must attain full maturity across all eight mitigation strategies before advancing to a higher level.

To implement the Essential Eight, organisations should adopt a risk-based approach that minimises exceptions and their scope. This can be achieved by implementing compensating security controls and minimising the number of affected systems or users. Our team of experts are specialists in implementation of effective mitigation strategies and achieving ASD Essential 8 maturity.

Protecting over 350 businesses for 20 years

Our IT Specialists Guide to the Essential 8 model

Businesses can benefit from implementing essential eight in several ways. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is increased security. By having Essential 8 in place, businesses can be sure that their data and systems are well-protected from external threats, as well as help businesses improve their overall efficiency and productivity.

Empire Technologies has over 20 years of experience in providing managed security services and is proud to have a team of expert cyber security professionals. Our extensive experience and knowledge in the industry make us the ideal partner to help reinforce your business’s protective posture and achieve the highest Essential 8 maturity level.

If you’re interested in improving your organisation’s security posture, we offer ASD Essential 8 Assessments conducted by our expert team. Contact us today to schedule your assessment and take the first step towards securing your business.

We’re you’re ASD Essential 8 Maturity Model experts

Our team of experienced professionals understands the critical role that Essential 8 plays in helping businesses achieve a mature security posture.

We provide tailored business IT support services across Australia to ensure that your organisation can navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology with confidence.

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