Backup and Recovery

Eight Cybersecurity Strategies to Protect Your Critical SaaS Data

Brett Waters
VP of Sales, ANZ
August 5, 2021

When it comes to security, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy guaranteed to prevent threats. That’s why the Australian Cyber Security Centre developed The Essential Eight, a baseline of cybersecurity risk-mitigation strategies that can help protect your critical data.

If you're a security and risk professional, the Essential Eight can help save your team time, money and effort. And if your foundation is rooted in Forrester's Zero Trust Model — a go-to strategy for security teams worldwide — you'll meet compliance requirements more easily, so you can focus on what matters to your business. 

Here's how.

Essential Eight mitigation strategies

Classified into three categories, the Essential Eight mitigation strategies are designed to be implemented simultaneously as a proactive approach to security.

Individually, they’re not enough to provide a solid defense against an attack. But when combined, the strategies cast a wide web of security, making it much harder for systems to be compromised.

Category 1: Prevent Malware Delivery and Execution

These strategies help prevent malicious code from infiltrating your system, ensure only approved applications are running and address security vulnerabilities:

  1. Application control
  2. Configure Microsoft Office macro settings
  3. User application hardening
  4. Patch applications

When your user-level systems are infiltrated by malicious code or outside threats, they can become bogged down and run less efficiently — causing your team members to struggle to complete projects on time.

Category 2: Limit the Extent of Cybersecurity Incidents

Through these steps, adversaries are less likely to access admin accounts with vast privileges. Security vulnerabilities within operating systems are also minimized, including:

  1. Restrict administrative privileges
  2. Multi-factor authentication
  3. Patch operating systems

By shielding your administrator accounts from external attacks, you'll be able to close the drawbridge — and prevent unauthorized users from launching targeted strikes from within the castle.

Category 3: Recover Data and System Availability

  1. Daily backups

If a cybersecurity incident occurs, daily backups ensure critical information is still accessible and your system is more resilient. Depending on your industry, a complete loss of data could compromise millions in sales, private patient information and critical projects. By performing daily backups and redundancy, you'll protect your company, — and your customers — on a daily basis.

Leverage the Zero Trust Framework to comply with the Essential Eight

Established by Forrester Research, Inc, Zero Trust is a foundational principle that eliminates the concept of trust from an organization's network for protection.   

Many cybersecurity solutions focus on barriers to filter traffic and protect the network. The Zero Trust model assumes  there are no barriers and that a breach can happen, no matter what firewalls and other protections you’ve implemented.

A common threat, for example, is when individuals have excessive administrative privileges. Hackers can use these unused or unknown accesses to burrow further into your network. The Essential Eight recommends restricting these privileges based on a user’s duties, as well as regularly reviewing and revalidating them. Zero Trust has the same core principle: It removes stale entitlements by continually reviewing and limiting accesses and privileges.

Another example is passwords, the single most common asset hackers use to compromise your systems. The Essential Eight recommends implementing multi-factor authentication for VPNs, RDP, SSH and other remote points. Zero Trust similarly requires multiple factors for any user authentication requests.

Using the Zero Trust model puts you in compliance with the Australian Essential Eight. The model is a proactive approach to data protection, so you can better align your security standpoint, budget and strategy in the process. 

The key to achieving this security harmony is having backup and daily recovery software in place. The Australian Essential Eight recommends daily backups, and in Zero Trust you're required to maintain viability and access to the data that's critical to your business. Business continuity planning and disaster recovery require regular backups, offsite storage, and restoration tests.

Make OwnBackup part of your data defense

Let us help you minimize your risks and threats of security. At OwnBackup, our cloud-based backups enable you to stop relying on backup files that are stored on local and network file systems to help support Essential Eight compliance. In addition, we subject our security practices to audit and review by third-parties who have certified our processes as adhering to stringent standards. These certifications include SOC II compliance as well as ISO 27001.

View the Forrester Research Report to learn more about cybersecurity risk mitigation strategies.

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