April 17

ASD Essential 8: Your Guide to Endpoint Security


Are you concerned about the security of your endpoints?

As #cyber-attacks increase in frequency and complexity, protecting your devices and systems from potential threats is crucial.

The ASD Essential 8 is a set of strategies and recommendations developed by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to help organizations improve their endpoint security.

In this post, we’ll give you a complete guide to ASD Essential 8, including an overview of the maturity model and how it relates to endpoint security. 

By following these guidelines, you can strengthen your security posture and protect your valuable data and assets. So, if you want to know more about improving your endpoint security, read on!

What is ASD Essential 8?

The ASD Essential 8 is a cybersecurity framework created by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and published in 2017. This framework is an upgrade from the original set of four security controls by the ASD. It’s specifically designed to protect Australian businesses from cyberattacks that are prevalent today.

The Essential Eight consists of eight cybersecurity strategies divided into three primary objectives – prevent attacks, limit attack impact, and data availability.

First objective: Prevent cyber attacks

The first objective is all about preventing cyberattacks and includes strategies like:

  • Patching application vulnerabilities.
  • Implementing application control.
  • User application hardening.
  • Configuring MS Office Macro settings.

Second objective: Limit the impact of cyber attacks

The second objective focuses on limiting the impact of cyberattacks and involves strategies like:

  • Patching operating system vulnerabilities.
  • Restricting admin access.
  • Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Third Objective: Data recovery and system availability

The third objective involves:

  • Implementing daily backups.

If an organization decides to implement ASD Essential 8, it can track its progress through the framework’s maturity scale, which consists of three levels.

Maturity level one: It means the organization is partly aligned with the mitigation strategy objectives.

Maturity level two: Refers to when an organization is mainly aligned with the mitigation strategy objectives.

Maturity Level Three: It means the organization is fully aligned with the mitigation strategy objectives.

It’s important to note that every maturity level can be tailored to fit the unique risk profile of each business. By using this scale, organizations can determine their current level of compliance and identify the particular efforts they need to make to move through each level. This helps businesses to continually improve their cybersecurity defenses and protect themselves from ever-evolving cyber threats.

For optimal protection against cyberattacks, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) recommends that all Australian businesses aim to achieve maturity level three within the Essential Eight cybersecurity framework.

However, it’s crucial to note that the Essential Eight is only the minimum baseline of cyber threat protection recommended by ASD.

Organizations should include additional complex data breach prevention solutions to this framework to significantly reduce the impact of cyberattacks.

Is The ASD Essential 8 Compulsory?

While Essential Eight is not mandatory for all Australian businesses, the federal government has mandated that all 98 non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCCEs) comply with this cybersecurity framework.

In the past, only the top four security controls in objective one of the Essential Eight were compulsory, but currently, compliance across all eight strategies is needed.

To guarantee optimal maintenance of security controls, all entities obligated to adhere to the prescribed cybersecurity framework shall be subjected to a comprehensive audit on a quinquennial basis.

This audit commenced in June 2022. This measure has been implemented to ensure strict compliance with the required standards and to uphold the integrity of the security infrastructure.

So, it’s essential for businesses to understand each of the eight control strategies and how to achieve compliance for every single one.

By implementing these strategies, businesses can significantly improve their cybersecurity defenses and protect themselves from cyber threats.

Final Thoughts

Protecting your endpoint devices and systems is more critical than ever in the face of increasing cyber threats.

The ASD Essential 8 is an excellent framework for businesses to implement. This is because it can significantly reduce the likelihood of successful cyber-attacks and improve their overall cybersecurity posture.

ASD Essential 8 improves your endpoint security posture, and its maturity model is a valuable tool for assessing your current security level and identifying areas for improvement. By implementing these strategies, you can significantly reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and safeguard your business from potential damage.

At Forde Consulting, we specialize in helping Australian businesses align with the ASD Essential 8 guidelines. Our team of experts can work with you to assess your current security posture and develop a customized security plan. We can also provide ongoing support to ensure your systems remain secure.

Don’t leave your endpoint security to chance. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you protect your valuable assets and data!

#essential8 #essentialeight #cyber #cybersecurity #databreach #iso27001 #rffr #rightfitforrisk


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