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The Essential Eight Explained: How to Mitigate The Threat of Cyber Crimes

Cybercrime is everywhere nowadays. And with the increased reliance on the internet sparked by the pandemic, it’s no surprise that cyber attacks are growing in severity, complexity, and frequency. According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Annual Cyber Threat Report, in FY21 alone, 67,500 cyber crimes were reported, representing a cyber attack every 8 minutes (compared to 10 minutes in FY20).

It’s hair-raising to think that cyber attacks can happen to anyone, and it’s why you should implement better cyber security methods to mitigate the threats of cybercrime and theft online. And this is where the Essential Eight—the most effective of a series of mitigation strategies—come in.

What is the Essential Eight?

As described by the ACSC, the Essential Eight “is a series of baseline mitigation strategies taken from the Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents recommended for organisations.” The Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents are a collection of mitigation strategies developed by the ACSC to help businesses reduce cyber security risks. And the eight most effective of these strategies form the Essential Eight.

You should note that the Essential Eight protects Microsoft Windows-based internet-connected networks, and substitute mitigation strategies should be explored for other environments.

The Essential Eight Summarised

The following table summarises the Essential Eight and is extracted from the ACSC’s Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents for convenience.

How should you implement the Essential Eight?

The Essential Eight should be implemented using a risk-based strategy. Helpfully, the ACSC has developed the Essential Eight Maturity Model to assist businesses in implementing the Essential Eight in a progressive manner.

Your business should first work out a target maturity level suitable to your operational environment. And then, you should “progressively implement each maturity level until that target is achieved.”

Let’s talk about maturity levels

There are four maturity levels to assist your business in implementing the Essential Eight (Maturity Level Zero to Maturity Level Three).

It can get quite complicated, so we recommend reading the ACSC’s material on the Essential Eight Maturity Model. In short, each maturity level (excluding Level Zero) is based on neutralising increasing degrees of cyber threats. And your business should determine the level of cyber threat (‘advanced tradecraft and targeting’ in technical terms) that you’re pursuing to reduce.

How can Kloudify help?

As a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider, Kloudify can help your business implement the Essential Eight mitigation measures and provide additional strategies to navigate the increasingly risky digital environment. However, while the Essential Eight can reduce the bulk of cyber dangers, it will not protect you from all of them. So, additional security measures should be considered, and we can help you do that too. Learn more about building a digital fortress around your business now.