The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Essential 8 Risk Mitigation Strategies provide an indispensable foundation to ward off cyber threats.
However, with businesses increasingly adopting hybrid and multi-cloud environments, integrating IoT devices, and facilitating remote work, the surface vulnerable to potential attacks has expanded.
The Essential 8 framework is exactly that – a foundation meant to be built upon. Your cyber security strategy demands more than just those eight strategies to solidify your cyber defences.
What is the ACSC Essential 8?
A core framework of security processes, controls, and policies designed to provide holistic protection against cyber threats, the Essential 8 comprises eight mitigation strategies. These are:
However, the ACSC itself states that while the Essential 8 can be applied to cloud services, enterprise mobility, or operating systems other than Microsoft Windows, it is not designed for such purposes, and other strategies are necessary to build a holistic cyber security framework.
While the Essential 8 remains a cornerstone in cyber security strategy, it’s imperative for businesses to recognise it as a starting point. Building upon this foundation by integrating advanced security solutions will not only provide more comprehensive protection, but ensure that the organisation remains agile and resilient in the face of evolving threats.
Building on the Essential 8 Framework: Going Beyond the Basics
Threat intelligence solutions and tools provide insights into emerging threats and their methodologies. By understanding what you’re up against, businesses can make informed decisions, ensuring proactive rather than merely reactive security measures.
Beyond just safeguarding your perimeter, it’s crucial to monitor the behaviour inside it. Behavioural analytics tools scrutinise user activities and detect anomalies. Such insights can be instrumental in identifying insider threats or compromised accounts, often catching threats that traditional methods may overlook.
Zero-trust operates on the principle of “never trust, always verify”. It emphasises the importance of verifying every access request, irrespective of where it originates, thereby ensuring that only authenticated users and devices can access your systems and data.
Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR)
The faster a threat is identified and mitigated, the lower the potential damage. SOAR solutions streamline this process, allowing for automated responses to specific types of threats. This quickens threat mitigation and frees up your IT team to handle more complex security challenges.
All modern businesses utilise the cloud in some way, so naturally, cyber security strategies need to keep pace. Cloud-specific security tools, such as Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) and cloud-native firewalls, ensure that your data remains secure as it moves between on-premises and cloud environments.
Managed Detection and Response (MDR)
Managed Detection and Response solutions and tools offer 24/7 threat monitoring and swift response. This is especially valuable for organisations that may not have the internal resources for constant vigilance. MDR ensures that threats are promptly identified and dealt with, regardless of when they strike.
Customising Your Approach
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. While the Essential 8 provides a nationally accepted foundation, the tools and strategies that best complement it will vary based on individual organisational needs. Factors such as company size, industry, client data sensitivity, and existing infrastructure play pivotal roles in shaping a cyber security strategy.
Conducting a thorough risk assessment will take into account both internal and external threats specific to your operations. From this, you can pinpoint the areas where additional layers of protection would be most beneficial.
The key is in striking a balance – ensuring robust protection without overburdening systems or incurring unnecessary expenses. Cyber security should act as a seamless shield, effectively guarding against threats while facilitating smooth business operations.
Build on the Essential 8 Framework with Expert Guidance
By building upon the Essential 8 and embracing a variety of advanced tools and strategies, your business will foster a more resilient, agile, and comprehensive cyber security posture.
The cyber security specialists at Itopia specialise in aligning businesses with the Essential 8 Risk Mitigation Strategies, and can help you pinpoint the exact security tools, solutions, and policies that will best suit your business requirements to provide a fortified security posture.