Assisting your Australia-based business take the right steps with end-to-end compliance management services for Essential Eight.

Essential Eight

What is Essential Eight?


For assisting the most critical organizations in Australia against some of the most immediate cyber threats, the Australian Cyber Security Centre has released the Essential Eight assessment. It is a set of best practices and guidelines that will assist enterprises to step up their resilience.

It empowers the organizations with minimum security measures as per the level of Maturity they fall into.

Each Maturity level describes the tradecraft of the adversary that the organization is subjected to. Tradecraft is the tools, tactics, techniques, and procedures deployed by attackers. Essential eight recommends the controls as per the maturity level the business falls into.

Essential Eight Maturity Level Explained

The ACSC has defined four maturity levels (Maturity Level Zero to Maturity Level Three) to help organizations implement the Essential Eight.

Maturity level zero

Organizations that have yet not serious about their cybersecurity and have not implemented any notable security measures to improve their cybersecurity posture against the most immediate threats. They consist of threat actors who:

Use the most common tools, techniques, tactics and procedures to orchestrate cyber attacks
Their cyber attacks target many victims without spending much time researching about them
Maturity level two

Organizations falling under this category face threat actors one step above maturity-level one threat actors. They consist of threat actors who:

Use tools, techniques, tactics, and procedures that are severe and complex.
Their targets are more specific than maturity level spending more time studying their targets.
They deploy more sophisticated technical and social engineering techniques to bypass security without being detected.
Maturity level one

Organizations that face a fair amount of low to medium level of cyber threats fall under this category. They consist of threat actors who:

Use widely used tools, techniques, tactics and procedures to steal confidential data and gain control of the system
Their focus is to exploit commonly found vulnerabilities targeting many unspecific victims
They deploy common social engineering techniques and seek to break privileges looking to destroy and erase data if they can.
Maturity level three

Organizations that face highly sophisticated threat actors fall in this category. They consist of threat actors who:

Use highly adaptive tools, tactics, techniques, and procedures that are highly complex and quite difficult to defend against
They spend more time studying their targets and are highly specific about them.
They deploy highly sophisticated technical and social engineering techniques to bypass security without being detected.

SharkStriker Approach

We understand that staying compliant in a highly volatile environment is nearly impossible without a team that offers expertise both in cybersecurity and compliance. SharkStriker offers just that. Through its end-to-end compliance management service for Essential Eight, you will get the much-needed step-by-step support you need for your business to stay compliant.

  • 01
    In the first step, we draw a scope with the organizational representatives comprising the complete business context and all their posture requirements. We understand the people, processes and technology required and the controls implemented.
  • 02
    Gap assessment
    The next step is to evaluate the gaps in Essential Eight compliance in their organization and identify loopholes in security through rigorous testing of their IT infrastructure.
  • 03
    Risk Treatment
    Once we have identified all the gaps in Essential Eight compliance, we prepare a risk treatment plan to treat all the security gaps. We implement the controls recommended as per the maturity level of an organization.
  • 04
    After framing the risk treatment plan, we implement and channel the right people, processes, and technology that is required to implement the risk treatment plan to bridge all the gaps in E8 compliance.
  • 05
    Post implementation
    We conduct a post-implementation audit to ensure no area is left unaddressed and ensure implementation without any errors.
  • 06
    Training and awareness
    There is a widespread skills and awareness gap in compliance and cybersecurity. That is why we prepare training modules and awareness campaigns to close all the awareness gaps in compliance.

As per the Essential Eight guidelines, organizations must implement a risk-based approach. 

First, through a comprehensive assessment, they must determine the maturity level.

Based on the assessment, they must implement the guidelines as per their maturity level only. The Essential Eight guideline further states that no certification from independent organizations is required. However, assessment from a third party concerning Essential Eight is a must.

These are the eight pillars of cybersecurity that the model is carved on:

Application Control:
The steps taken on the application level to make it more secure and private. It prevents the execution of .exe files, software libraries, scripts, installers, compiled HTML, HTML applications, and control panel applets on workstations.
Patch Applications:
Suggests various best practices/release patches that mitigate security flaws in an application. Prevent security flaws and render system support for internet-facing services.
MS Macro configurations:
Providing optimal configuration recommendations for users who have implemented MS Office Macros. Perform anti-virus scans and ensure the correct settings without any tampering.
User Application Hardening:
To take measures to secure web browsers and prevent them from being vulnerable to malicious java based processing, web advertisements, and other malicious content.
Restriction of admin privileges:
Requests for admin access to systems are verified. They are prohibited email, web services, and the internet usage.
Patching of operating systems:
Based on vulnerabilities assessment, it suggests the best practices in security for patching operating systems.
Multi-Factor Authentication:
Verification of the level of MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) security in organizational access login and other third-party internet-facing services that process, store/send non-sensitive data.
Regular Backups:
Ensuring periodical backups and synchronization of all the sensitive data, settings, configurations, and software.

How does SharkStriker help?

The essential eight guidelines have provided a critical categorization of organizations per the threat actors. It assists organizations in planning their cybersecurity posture and designing policies, procedures, and rules, assisting them in combating threats that fall under their category. 

Organizations that have implemented the guidelines in the essential eight have witnessed increased resilience to threats and have prevented threat actors from exploiting their networks to steal sensitive data. 

Organizations that are unaware of the threats or the sophistication of bad actors are bound to face a loss both in terms of reputation and money. They may face damage that is far greater than they expected. In today’s highly volatile threat and regulatory environment, awareness is a must. It is because cyber attackers are constantly evolving and they are well aware of the various security measures that organizations are implementing.

Evolved threats of today require security solutions for tomorrow. That is the main reason why it is more important to collaborate with cyber experts who can help you implement the best security policies, procedures, and measures that are in congruence with Essential Eight. We have the right team of cybersecurity experts and cyber compliance consultants who can help you navigate seamlessly through the different bottlenecks in cybersecurity.

Be compliance-ready, always, with SharkStriker!