From July 2022, non-corporate Commonwealth entities will be expected to implement Essential Eight maturity level two mitigations to achieve a managing maturity rating under Policy 10.
The Essential Eight Maturity Model, first published in June 2017 and updated regularly, supports the implementation of the Essential Eight.
The Essential Eight is a set of security and operational practices that were initially created to enhance the security measures of Australian governmental agencies, local councils, departments, and other public sector businesses.
Why was the Essential 8 created?
The Essential 8 cybersecurity framework was developed by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), which is the Australian government’s leading agency for cybersecurity and foreign signals intelligence. The ASD developed the Essential 8 in response to the growing threat of cyber-attacks targeting Australian businesses and government agencies.
The goal of the Essential 8 framework was to provide a set of best practices that organisations could use to improve their cybersecurity posture and reduce their risk of cyber-attacks. The ASD recognized that many organisations were struggling to keep up with the rapidly evolving cybersecurity threat landscape, and that a standardised framework could help to provide guidance and support.
The Essential 8 was also designed to be practical and easy to implement, with a focus on the most important and effective strategies for protecting against cyber threats. By providing a clear and straightforward set of guidelines, the ASD hoped to encourage more organisations to take cybersecurity seriously and to prioritize it as an essential aspect of their business operations.
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Do I need the Essential 8?
The Essential 8 cybersecurity framework is relevant to any organization that uses information and communication technology (ICT) systems to conduct its operations, regardless of its size or industry. This includes government agencies, private businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and any other entity that relies on digital systems and data.
In particular, organisations that are considered high-risk or that handle sensitive information may have a greater need for the Essential 8 framework. This might include organisations in sectors such as finance, healthcare, and defences, as well as government agencies that deal with sensitive information or infrastructure.
However, it’s important to note that every organisation is potentially vulnerable to cyber threats, regardless of its size or industry. Cybercriminals are opportunistic and will target any organization that they believe to be vulnerable or valuable. As such, the Essential 8 is a relevant and useful framework for any organization that wants to improve its cybersecurity posture and protect itself against cyber threats.