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Essential Eight and Our Cyber Security Journey

As one of the Directors at PepNet Technologies, I find myself reflecting on our recent achievements with pride. Our commitment to Cyber Security has reached new heights, and today, I want to share our journey toward securing our organisation and others against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

The Essential Eight: A Shield Against Adversaries

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) recognised the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures. In response, they developed a set of prioritised mitigation strategies—the Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents. These strategies serve as a lifeline for organisations, helping them safeguard their critical assets against cyber threats.

At the heart of these strategies lies the Essential Eight. These eight battle-tested practices form a formidable defence, making it significantly harder for adversaries to compromise our systems.

What makes the Essential Eight so crucial:

  1. Application Whitelisting: By allowing only approved applications to run, we create a protective barrier against unauthorised software.
  2. Patch Applications: Regularly updating software patches ensures that vulnerabilities are promptly addressed, leaving no room for exploitation.
  3. Configure Microsoft Office Macro Settings: Macros can be a double-edged sword. Proper configuration minimises risks associated with malicious macros.
  4. User Application Hardening: Strengthening user applications—such as web browsers—reduces the attack surface and enhances security.
  5. Restrict Administrative Privileges: Limiting administrative access prevents unauthorised changes and minimises the impact of potential breaches.
  6. Patch Operating Systems: Just like applications, operating systems require timely updates to stay resilient against threats.
  7. Multi-Factor Authentication: Adding an extra layer of authentication fortifies our defences, especially against credential-based attacks.
  8. Daily Backups: Regular backups ensure that critical data remains intact even in the face of ransomware or other destructive incidents.

Our Engineers’ Journey: Certified and Ready

When the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) launched the Essential Eight Assessment Course, PepNet seized the opportunity. Our engineers embarked on a rigorous certification process, diving deep into the intricacies of the Essential Eight certification. Armed with newfound knowledge, they emerged as certified defenders of our digital realm.

The Essential Eight Maturity Model became our compass. This model outlines three target maturity levels, each aligned with specific adversary targeting and tradecraft mitigation. From Maturity Level One to Maturity Level Three, our engineers honed their skills, ensuring that PepNet’s Cyber Security posture stood strong.

The PepNet Advantage: Blending Expertise and Experience

Our certified engineers bring more than technical prowess to the table. They blend specialist knowledge with hands-on experience by conducting assessments based on the Essential Eight Maturity Model. Their mission? To assess, enhance, and fortify your organisation’s Cyber Security defences.

As we continue this journey, PepNet Technologies stands ready—a sentinel guarding against cyber threats. The Essential Eight isn’t just a checklist; it’s our shield, our commitment, and our promise to protect what matters most.

Remember, in today’s interconnected world, Cyber Security isn’t an option—it’s a necessity. And it’s no longer a matter of ‘if’ I get hacked, it’s now a matter of ‘when’. Let’s stand united, armed with knowledge and resilience, as we navigate the digital frontier.

For more information on the Essential Eight, visit the Essential Eight page.

Simon Bignell, Director at PepNet Technologies