Top Cyber Security Frameworks for Australian businesses in 2022

20/07/2022by admin0Read: 8 minutes

Cyber Security Frameworks is crucial for Australian businesses in 2022 because as per surveys, 1 out of 10 Australian companies are victims of a cyber-attack, and there is a ransomware attack in Australia every 14 seconds.

It is therefore important to have a robust cyber security framework in place to secure your company’s future. However, choosing the right cybersecurity framework for your business can be daunting.

The blog is dedicated to outlining the different types of cybersecurity frameworks available, helping you to choose the best Cyber Security framework for your business. To see which framework is perfect for your business, read on!

Cyber Security framework

A cybersecurity framework can be divided into three categories – information security, cyber threat management, and digital performance monitoring and analysis. These frameworks can help businesses protect their data and resources by identifying risks, implementing mitigation measures, and tracking progress. In addition, having a cybersecurity framework in place can help companies be proactive with cyber security threats and protect themselves from potential cyber-attacks.

Importance of Cyber Security Framework

Cybersecurity is essential to safeguard businesses today from hackers and cybercriminals on the hunt for sensitive information for money or to damage a company’s reputation. A cybersecurity framework is crucial to protect your company’s data and assets from cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity frameworks protect your business from cyber threats and vulnerabilities, help you comply with government regulations, and enable you to maintain an optimal level of security for your data.

By implementing a proper cybersecurity framework, you can reduce the risk of data breaches. It’s also important to keep an eye on upcoming threats and update your strategy as required to stay ahead of the curve.

Cyber Security Framework Selection

To make the most informed decision, it’s important to first assess your company’s specific needs. Then, select a cybersecurity framework that has been tested and is effective in protecting your organisation’s data and assets.

Cyber Security Framework Implementation for Your Business

Cybersecurity is an ever-growing field that is constantly changing. As such, it is important to stay up to date with the latest trends and updates. There are many cybersecurity frameworks available on the market, so it’s important to choose the right one for your business. Once you’ve selected a framework, make sure to follow it religiously. This will help your business be safe and secure from cyberattacks. Also, make sure to have a cybersecurity plan in place in case of an emergency, thus arming your company against future cyber-attacks.

Top Cybersecurity Frameworks for Australian Businesses in 2022

From the many frameworks available in the Australian market, it is important to choose one that is tailored to suit your business. Do take assistance from someone expert in the field like Anitech. Once you’ve selected a framework, make sure to implement it across all aspects of your business – from staff training to cyber security monitoring and incident response plans. Some popular options include the Cyber Security Alliance Framework and OWASP Top 10 Project Threat assessment framework. In addition to these frameworks, it’s always important to have a solid cyber security plan in place. This will help you to identify and mitigate threats as they come and keep your business safe from cyber-attacks.

1. ISO/IEC 27001: 27002

ISO 27001: 27002 is the internationally recognised standard for cybersecurity, which was amended this year. Also called ISO 27KISO/IEC, ISO 27001 requires the management to manage the company’s information security risks systematically while considering the vulnerabilities and threats.

Australian companies should adopt ISO and/or IEC standards as a baseline.

Organisations should design and implement information security (InfoSec) controls to mitigate the identified security risks. The controls are both comprehensive and coherent.

The recently introduced ISO 27002 version lists 93 controls divided into four themes namely:

a) People Controls.

b) Organisational Controls.

c) Physical Controls.

d) Technological Controls.

The ISO 27002 framework provides best-practice guidance on applying the controls listed in Annex A of ISO 27001. It is the standard security framework that Australian businesses use to safeguard their systems against cyber security and to get ISO 27001: 2013 certified. Companies with an ISO 27001: 2013 certification are considered reputable and trustworthy businesses in the Australian market.

2. Australian Signals Directorate’s (ASD) Essential Eight

Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) introduced the Essential Eight in 2017 to help Australian businesses in preventing cyber threats by mitigating them. It has three objectives and eight mitigation strategies. Companies should identify the target maturity level suitable to their organisation’s environment and then implement each until the target has been achieved.

The three objectives of the Essential Eight are as below:

a) To Prevent Cyberattacks

It is the first step that aims to safeguard internal systems from data breaches. It makes use of mitigating strategies like patch application, configuring Microsoft Office Macro settings, user application hardening and application control. It is essential for employees to report these threats.

b) Limit Cyberattacks’ Extent

The objective of limiting cyberattacks’ extent is achieved by restricting administrative privileges (access control), Patch Operating Systems, and by implementing MFA or Multifactor Authentication.

c) System Availability and Data Recovery

This objective covers a cyberthreat’s final stage. It aims to secure sensitive data with the help of regular backups.

In Mar 2022, ACSC alerted Australian organisations to implement the Essential Eight while acknowledging the maturity model as minimal.

Essential Eight Maturity Model

There are three maturity scales defined as per their alignment with the mitigation strategy:

Level 0 (Immature) – Not aligned or no compliance.

Level 1 (Intermittent) – Partly aligned or low compliance.

Level 2 (Committed) – Mostly aligned or medium compliance.

Level 3 (Advanced) – Completely aligned or highly protected.

3. Australian Energy Sector Cyber Security Framework (AESCF)

AEMO, industry, and the Australian government developed the Australian Energy Sector Cyber Security Framework (AESCSF) in 2018 to offer a cyber security maturity analysing tool for Australia’s energy sector.

It is a national concern to protect Australia’s energy sector from cyber threats.

The AESCSF tests cyber security’s maturity to uplift capability, which in turn solidifies the energy sector’s cyber resilience.

It, therefore, helps to maintain secure and reliable energy supplies supporting our economic stability and national security.

AESCSF program applies to the Australian Energy Sector, liquid fuels, gas markets and non-Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), and electricity grids and markets.

4. Australian Signals Directorate (ASD)

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) is part of the Australian Government and is responsible for cyber welfare and information security, including foreign signals intelligence and supporting military operations.

To promote cyber security, ASD implements a risk-based approach drawn from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) risk-management framework. Their documents outline each standard to help organisations implement them as per their company’s requirements and industry relevance. The manuals are continually updated to comply with the Intelligence Services Act 2001.

The ASD published the ISM for government agencies, intended for CIOs, CISOs and cyber security professionals. ISM focuses on minimising risks and exposure to cyber threats and is not mandatory for all Australian businesses.

The ASD’s security division is the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) which provides the information, advice, guidelines, and assistance to prevent and combat cyber threats in public and private sectors.

5. NIST Cyber Security Framework

The NIST Cybersecurity framework or the NIST Cyber Security Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure focuses on critical infrastructure protection and can be applied to every business seeking enhanced cyber security. However, it is used for safeguarding critical infrastructures like dams and power plants.

NIST framework encores cyber security functions following the simple pattern of cyber defence – to identify, detect, protect, respond, and recover.

It provides a structured mechanism to identify risks and assets requiring cyber protection. It also lists the different ways a business should implement to protect these assets, like identifying risks, responding to threats, and recovering assets during a security incident.

6. Centre for Internet Security (CIS) Controls

CIS Critical Security Controls (CIS Controls) is the official name of the controls that were earlier called the SANS Critical Security Controls (SANS Top 20). It is a prioritised set of safeguards to mitigate the significant prevalent cyber-attacks against networks and systems.

They are referenced to and mapped by many regulatory, legal, and policy frameworks.

The CIS Controls v8 has been improved to space up with modern systems and software. It resonates with the latest digital trends that are unintentionally responsible for expanding the cyber threat landscape like the hybrid or work from home models, increase in virtualisation and reliability on cloud networks, and increase in mobile end users.

7. Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM)

The Cloud Control Matrix (CCM) comprises 197 control objectives structured in 17 domains and covers the fundamental cloud technology aspects. It is instrumental to the cloud implementation’s systematic assessment and guides which actor shall have specific controls implemented in the cloud supply chain.

It is a de-facto standard for cloud security assurance and compliance and is aligned with the CSA Security Guidance for Cloud Computing.

CCM effectively maps its controls to prominent regulations and security standards and regulations as given below:

  • BITS Shared Assessments
  • German BSI C5
  • PIPEDA Canada
  • CIS AWS Foundation
  • 95/46/EC EU Data Protection Directive
  • FedRAMP
  • GAPP
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • ISO/IEC 27002
  • ISO/IEC 27017
  • ISO/IEC 27018
  • Mexico Federal Law
  • NIST SP800-53
  • IEC 62443-3-3
  • C5.

The Cloud Control Matrix (CCM) aims to provide security to cloud customers as well as cloud solution providers.

8. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is known as the toughest security and privacy law in the world. Though drafted and passed by the European Union (EU), it imposes obligations on global organisations that collect information on Europeans.

Everyone who uses personal data is obligated to follow the ‘data protection principles, which are a set of strict rules. They must ensure the data is used transparently, fairly, and lawfully. GDPR and the Australian Privacy Act 1988 have a lot of common factors, but the GDPR’s Right to Erasure differentiates them.

Australian companies having businesses in Europe or exporting goods and services to the customer there must be GDPR compliant.

GDPR has seven fundamental principles as given below:

a)    Accuracy.

b)    Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency.

c)    Purpose limitation.

d)    Data minimisation.

e)    Storage limitation.

f)     Integrity and confidentiality (security)

g)    Accountability.

9. Control Objectives for Information Technology (COBIT)

The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) for IT governance and management created COBIT, which stands for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology.

COBIT was designed with the intent to be a supportive tool for managers. It aims to bridge the crucial gap between technical issues, business risks, and control requirements.

The COBIT business orientation links business goals with its IT infrastructure with the help of different maturity models and metrics. These aim to measure the achievement while identifying IT processes’ associated business responsibilities.

COBIT aids all Australian organisation that depends on the relevant information distribution.

A process-based model illustrated the key focus of COBIT 4.1 and is subdivided into four specific domains, which are as given below:

  • Planning and Organisation
  • Delivering and Support
  • Acquiring and Implementation
  • Monitoring and Evaluating

10. The Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018

The Security of Critical Infrastructure Act, 2018 aims to handle the evolving, complex national security risks like sabotage, espionage, and coercion posed by foreign involvement in Australia’s critical infrastructure.

It has three primary directives as given below:

a) Critical infrastructure operators and owners must register suitable assets.

b) Critical infrastructure operators and owners must supply all the necessary information to the Department of Home Affairs and support the centre’s security initiatives.

c) Critical infrastructure operators and owners must comply with instructions received from the Minister of Home Affairs that support the national security risks’ mitigation, where all other risk mitigation efforts have been exhausted.

The Act applies to 22 asset classes across 11 sectors that include:

  • Data Storage or Processing.
  • Communications, Telecommunication.
  • Defence, Energy
  • Financial services and markets
  • Grocery and food.
  • Health care and medical
  • Higher education and research
  • Water, transport, and sewerage.
  • Space technology

11. Australian Government’s Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF)

The Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) authorises the Australian Government’s entities to safeguard their people, data, and assets.

It aims to cultivate a positive security culture for all entities. This protection is valid in Australia and overseas.

The PSPF is considered the best cybersecurity practice for all Australian state and territory agencies. The PSPF should be applied to all Government and non-corporate government entities in the country according to their risk profiles.

The PSPF aims to apply the following policies, with each linking to the core requirements guidelines:

  • Security governance
  • Information security
  • Personnel security
  • Physical security

12. SCO2 Service Organisational Control (SOC)

Service Organisational Control (SOC) 2 reports are designed to ensure that if you are a service provider who handles customer data, it will be transmitted, stored, maintained, processed, and disposed of in a way that is strictly confidential. Introduced by the American Institute for CPAs (AICPA), SOC 2 compliance indicates to your customers that you will handle their data with the utmost care. And in today’s data-heavy world, avoiding data breaches is crucial to your success as a business owner.

There are five PSPF principles that represent desired security outcomes:

1) Security is everyone’s responsibility. A positive security culture supports the security outcomes and its achievements.

2) Security enables the business of Government. It supports effective and efficient service delivery.

3) Security measures, when applied, accurately protect the information, people, and assets in accordance with their analysed risks.

4) Accountable authorities own their entity’s security risks and their impact on the shared risks.

5) A cycle of action, evaluation, and learning are evident in response to security incidents.

Which cyber security frameworks should Australian companies be using?

There is no single cyber security framework that is best suited for all companies, as the specific needs of each business differ. However, some commonly used cyber security frameworks include the ISO 27001 and PCI DSS standards.

Do check out our website for more information and advice on how to implement cyber security frameworks for your business.

For expert guidance, you can call us on 1300 802 163. You can email us at – info@anitechgroup.com or enquire here.


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