Have you ever wondered why government wants to secure your data? They have nothing to relate with your business but still they are implementing new policies just to ensure your business is safe from cyber-attacks and breaching
You are already known what we are getting at here so here is a simple question for you-
Do you lock your front door while leaving your house? Oh, what an obvious question, Of course i did.
What if I tell you that still your house is not secure or there is a thief inside your house? These people make a living out of lax security measures. They study their targets. They learn their routines. They break into houses without the use of force. Unfortunately, the risk of cyber-attack is very much real. And, in fact, it’s a risk that’s growing every day. These thief’s in a digital world can easily bootup your devices and data.
There are strategies to protect your business and the most important introduced by the Australian Government is Essential 8 by ACSC-
The Essential 8 Model is a government-led cybersecurity initiative produced by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and Australian Cybersecurity Centre (ACSC). Adopting these strategies as general guidelines can serve as a quick method for scaling your enterprise cybersecurity posture, without the immediate need for extensive investment or research. the Essential Eight is considered one of the most effective defense strategies against cybercriminals for all organizations.
It is a series of eight strategies recommended by the Australian Government to support Australian businesses prevent cyber-attacks, limit damage caused by cyber-attacks and, if all else fails, recover data lost from attacks or human errors.
While keeping this in mind that cyberattacks, and cybersecurity issues are becoming day- to -day struggle for businesses. From the overall statistics of last one year it has been noticed by the government that there is a huge increase in hacking and data breaching and their targets are non-other than Financial services providers, Mobile and IoT devices organizations or other small business.
The Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) implement the Essential 8 guideline which is a prioritized series of eight strategies recommended by the Australian Government to support Australian businesses prevent cyber-attacks, limit damage caused by cyber-attacks and, if all else fails, recover data lost from attacks or human errors.
All it includes –
- The prevention of malware delivery and execution;
- Limiting the extent of cybersecurity incidents; and
- Ensuring data recovery and system availability.
To successfully fight against malicious intent and cyber-attacks, it’s imperative that companies make Essential 8 practices a part of their culture.
The strategy focuses upon the 3 Key main areas of Cyber Security-
1 Prevention from Attacks-
- Application whitelisting- Application Whitelisting is on the top when it comes to take prevention from the attacks because it only allows known good applications to execute on a computer. When it comes to prevent from malware it directly blocks the excess. It is a practice of identifying which application and software are allowed to run in your computer system and network. Whitelisting takes more of a trust-centric approach and is considered to be more secure. It allows a limited number of applications to run, effectively minimizing the attack surface.
- Patch Application- Many companies are taking additional security measures to lower the risk of vulnerabilities. It is considered the right choice for business to protect against vulnerabilities because it is a process of managing a network of computers by regularly performing patch deployment to keep computers and software’s up to date. Software updates help protect your data and hardware. Using outdated applications could expose exploitable vulnerabilities.
- Microsoft office macro setting- Macros are the important tool for hackers to infect other organization network or software. (ACSC) has recommended businesses Configure Microsoft Office Macro Settings to minimize the risk of cyber-attacks. Hackers can use macro viruses, or malicious macros, to infiltrate a computer network and run malicious code malware. Smart configuration of macros is therefore key to ensuring businesses minimize risk, whilst maximizing productivity.
- User Application Hardening- It is a method of protecting against Vulnerabilities. It is an act of applying levels of security in order to protect applications from IP theft, misuse, vulnerability exploitation, tampering or even repackaging by people with ill intentions. It is useful because it is considered as an integral part of security. Helps in disabling the high risk and unneeded functionality and components, such as Java on the internet and Microsoft Office Add-Ins.
2- Seal off or limiting from attacks-
- Restrict Administrative Privileges- You can restrict a role or desktop to certain times or days of the week, and you can set a beginning and expiration date for the access. You can set any role or desktop to require auditing, so that the user cannot use the role or desktop unless it is being audited. Keep your environment safe from adversaries.
- Multi-factor Authentication- A Strong Authentication is required to protect against cyberattacks. Multi-factor authentication provides a layer of protection for both employees and customers. This can be enable through PIN,SMS,Email verification and many other forms. Just ensure that it ia an extra level of safeguard you are providing to your credentials over network.
- Patch Operating Systems- Patching Operating Systems is one of the Australian Cyber Security Centres (ACSC) recommended Essential 8 strategies used to prevent cyber-attacks and limit the extent of damage caused by incidents. Patching Operating Systems forms a strong first point of defense against potential threats. In addition to prevention, Patching Operating Systems can also minimize the extent of damage in the case of a security breach.
3- Strategies to recover data and system availability-
- Daily Backups- Regular backups are important, it not only save your data on the cloud but through regular backups the safety of data availability get ensured. It is important because data backup helps to save important files if any cyberattack/system crash or hard drive failure occurs. Reports of malicious software and hackers are everywhere these days. And, while these types of threats do pose significant risks for businesses. The ACSC Suggest this strategy as its 8th Essential because additional backup helps you in recovering from any attack. You don’t have to pay ransom for your files and data that has been stolen.
There is no single solution to cybersecurity; it should be a combination of efforts and mitigation strategies. The Essential Eight system gives you a realistic target for your cybersecurity goals and provides a well-structured, easy-to-follow path towards achieving them.
Cyber-attacks are wreaking havoc for businesses everywhere. And, while hackers and ransomware outbreaks are certainly causing damage and making headlines, old-school malware, spyware, and old-fashioned viruses continue to be among the leading reasons for system breaches and data loss.
The ACSC Essential 8 Strategies introduced by ASD gives us a plan to get secured against all types of cyberattacks. Make a strong foothold against hackers. If you want to organize a meeting and want to learn more about it, please reach us out at 3Columns.