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ASD Essential 8: Configure Microsoft Office macros

 

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ASD Essential 8: Configure Microsoft Office macros

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) Essential 8 is a set of security controls that organisations should adopt to reduce the risk of cyber incidents. The ASD Essential 8 includes the control ‘Configure Microsoft Office macros’, which is designed to reduce the risk of malicious macros from being executed on a user’s system. Malicious macros are a common way for an attacker to gain access to a system and can be used to download and execute malicious code, steal data or even take control of the system. To reduce the risk of malicious macros, the ASD Essential 8 recommends that organisations configure Microsoft Office macros so that only trusted macros can be executed. Organisations should begin by disabling all macros by default. This ensures that users cannot execute any macros unless they are explicitly enabled. It is important to note that this does not prevent users from downloading malicious macros, but it does make it more difficult for an attacker to execute them. Once macros have been disabled, organisations should then configure Microsoft Office to only allow trusted macros from trusted locations. This ensures that only macros from trusted sources can be executed. This can be done by setting up a list of trusted locations, such as the organisation’s network, which will only allow macros from these locations to be executed. Organisations should also limit macro write access to users with macro approval jurisdiction. This ensures that only users with the appropriate authority can approve and execute macros. This can be done by setting up a list of users who are authorised to approve and execute macros. Finally, organisations should block all MS Office macros within documents that were accessed from the internet. This ensures that any macros downloaded from the internet are blocked and cannot be executed. This can be done by configuring the organisation’s firewall to block any incoming connections from the internet that contain MS Office macros. By following the ASD Essential 8 control ‘Configure Microsoft Office macros’, organisations can significantly reduce the risk of malicious macros being executed on their systems. By disabling macros by default, only allowing trusted macros from trusted locations, limiting macro write access to users with macro approval jurisdiction, and blocking all MS Office macros within documents that were accessed from the internet, organisations can ensure that their systems are protected from malicious macros. .



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