The Essential 8 – Sydney Business Cyber Security Landscape

4 months ago

The Essential 8 – A Cyber Security Baseline for Sydney Businesses

Businesses in Sydney are becoming increasingly reliant on technology to drive their business growth. This reliance, however, brings with it an increased risk of cyber threats. The Essential 8 approach provides strong protection for businesses against many cyber risks, giving hope for better security. I’ve witnessed the impact of these cyber security strategies, especially when implemented through managed service providers (MSPs).

The Essential 8 by the Australian Cyber Security Centre helps protect Australian businesses. The Essential 8 is a set of strategies designed to protect businesses against cyber attacks. The Essential 8 consists of three main objectives: preventing malware delivery and execution, limiting the extent of cyber incidents, recovering data and system availability. By adopting these principles, businesses in Sydney, from startups to established companies, can enhance their cyber resilience and protect their businesses.

A modern office in Sydney focusing on cybersecurity, in a landscape format. The office is equipped with advanced computer systems and monitors display

Understanding the Essential 8

Application Whitelisting:

This first pillar involves allowing only vetted and trusted applications to run, effectively blocking unknown programs. It’s the first line of defence in a world where malicious software can easily cripple a business’s operations. Milnsbridge recommends and offers Threatlocker as the leading tool for application control.

Patch Applications:

Regularly updating applications is critical to ensuring applications don’t become the attack vector. Patches often include fixes for security holes that, if exploited, can lead to significant data breaches. Milnsbridge provides a patch management system to ensure the security of all leading browsers, adobe and other common applications.

Configure Microsoft Office Macro Settings:

Whilst they can be powerful tools for business efficiency, macros can be an easy gateway for malicious code to be executed. By configuring Microsoft 365 macro settings as a cyber security strategy, businesses can prevent dangerous macros from compromising their systems.

User Application Hardening:

This pillar involves disabling features in applications that are often exploited for security weaknesses, such as web browsers and PDF viewers, adding an extra layer of security. This is commonly achieved by enforcing application settings via Managed Service Provider tools such as an RMM.

Restrict Administrative Privileges to Achieve Essential 8

By limiting admin privileges to only those who need them, businesses can reduce the risk of malicious insiders or external attackers gaining access to their sensitive systems. Admin rights should always be implemented on the basis of minimum necessary privileges which is the strategy employed by MSP Milnsbridge Managed IT Services.

Patch Operating Systems:

Given that the operating system is the foundation of user’s computer, its integrity is paramount in the fight against cyber criminals. Similar to patching applications, keeping operating systems updated is vital in protecting against known exploits which Milnsbridge utilises its centrally managed patch management tool to achieve.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):

Perhaps one of the most essential elements of the essential 8 program, MFA adds an additional layer of cyber security, ensuring that even if passwords are compromised, access is still barred when using a MFA product such as Duo which Milnsbridge provides to clients on our MSP Growth plans.

Daily Backups:

Regular cloud backups of important data and systems enable businesses to recover quickly from cyber incidents, minimising disruption and loss. If in the unfortunate case of being compromised, a robust backup ensures recoverability in most circumstances and is a highly recommended component of any cyber security strategy.

The Role of Managed IT Services

Managed services companies, such as Milnsbridge, play a pivotal role in implementing the Essential 8 strategy. Many businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Sydney, may lack the expertise or resources to effectively manage their own cyber security needs. This is where managed service providers come into the picture. They offer a range of managed IT solutions, including proactive monitoring, patch management, and incident response, tailored to a business’s specific needs.

Benefits of the Essential 8 Cyber Security Strategy

  1. Enhanced Protection: By adhering to these key cyber security protection principles, businesses can significantly reduce their vulnerability to cyber attacks, safeguarding their data and reputation.
  2. Cost-Effective Security: Implementing the Essential 8 is by far more cost-effective compared to dealing with the aftermath of a cyber breach. Managed IT services offer scalable solutions that suit various budgets, making it accessible even to smaller businesses in need of assistance.
  3. Compliance and Trust: Following these guidelines helps businesses stay compliant with regulatory requirements. It also builds trust among customers and partners, who are increasingly concerned about the data security of other companies they collaborate with.
  4. Business Continuity: With appropriate cyber security measures in place, businesses can ensure continuity, mitigating the risk of operational disruptions caused by cyber incidents and protect their reputation.
  5. Strategic Focus: Outsourcing cyber security to managed IT support allows businesses to focus on their core business activities, fostering growth and innovation.

IT Solutions for Small Business: A Key Driver

For small businesses across Sydney, the Essential 8 is particularly crucial. These companies often become targets due to perceived lower security measures, “why would they target me” is commonly heard as an excuse to ignore rigid cyber security protection strategies. Managed IT services tailored for small businesses provides the technical expertise and tools necessary to implement these cyber security strategies effectively and affordably.

Final Thoughts on the Essential 8

Essential 8 is not just a set of guidelines; it’s a comprehensive framework that lays the foundation to protect businesses against ever increasing cyber threats. In today’s dynamic business environment, adopting these principles through managed IT services is no longer optional but a necessity. It ensures not only the security of a business’s digital assets but also its sustained growth and resilience in the face of cyber challenges. As we delve further into the digital era, embracing these cyber security measures will be paramount for businesses aiming to thrive.

Get in touch with a reputable MSP such as Milnsbridge Managed IT Services on 1300 300 293 for guidance on how to bolster the cyber security profile of your business today.

Let’s get started

Get in touch today and speak with one of our friendly staff. We will take the time to assess your business requirements and provide an obligation-free quote. 

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  • Cloud Hosted Email Security
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