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The Importance of Breach and Attack Simulation Technology

Are BAS services right for your business?

With recent waves of malware damaging company assets and interrupting business, it is important that security professionals maintain readiness for attack. While frequent penetration testing, virus scanning, and good Internet hygiene can go great lengths to protect your enterprise, high-profile targets need even stronger tools at their disposal. Breach and attack simulation technology (BAS) adds another layer of security to your enterprise by measuring how effective your current security controls are at detecting and thwarting known attacks. This is analogous to continuous or on-demand penetration testing, but with heaps of data produced to illustrate exactly where and how successful simulated breaches were possible.

BAS need not stop at simulating a single breach, however. An automated system can attack a live enterprise with an entire library of threat artifacts without doing any real harm, then report which security controls were penetrated by which artifacts, revealing to security experts which of their security products are not configured correctly, which endpoints were compromised, etc. rThreat possesses these capabilities and more. Our developers research current cyber threat trends to create previously unseen attack artifacts.

Who benefits most from BAS services?

If your enterprise has suffered a breach before, you know the anxiety and social pain it causes, as well as interruption of business, loss of privacy, loss of data, loss of confidence, and legal consequences. Anyone who has suffered a breach in the past should recognize the need for routine scanning of their security controls.

Large companies and their vendors should take seriously the need for continuous testing. The larger a company grows, and the more security products its administrators employ, the harder it is for humans to understand and track the configuration of its security controls. BAS protection automates testing these controls so nobody needs to rely on any one person’s understanding of their company’s vast security plan.

Smaller businesses that handle sensitive data such as intellectual property or personally identifiable information should consider themselves high-profile. Even if you think you don’t have enough money or other assets to be worth the attention of ransomware authors, the data your enterprise handles may be of inherent worth to malicious actors. Social security numbers and phone numbers can be auctioned off in bulk. Copyrighted material meant to be released in a controlled manner may be stolen for black market sales.

Industries that must comply with strict data privacy and security regulations should not operate without the protection of breach and attack simulation technology or continuous penetration testing. Businesses in law, healthcare, education, finance, telecommunication, and government contracting should understand they carry the same risks as others or more, but with much higher consequences. Operators of data centers should be acutely aware of the consequences of a breach. Violations of regulatory compliance can result in hefty fines, loss of licenses, or jail time.

How does breach and attack simulation technology protect me?

By deploying benign threat artifacts on your enterprise, an automated BAS system can measure the response time of correctly configured security controls. Does your system detect a breach quickly enough to arrest the threat? BAS can tell you, and point out areas that could use improvement. With attacks on enterprise systems on the rise and most intrusion motivated by financial gain and espionage, it’s important that leaders in IT and cybersecurity take threat simulation seriously.

Gaps in your security and incorrectly configured controls can be detected and reported quickly, so your team doesn’t discover these vulnerabilities the hard way. Patterns in simulated breach detection may even reveal systemic flaws in enterprise security to experts reviewing BAS reports, such as errant product deactivation, expired software licenses, or deprecated software versions. A recent Ponemon Institute survey found that the majority of IT and security professionals “don’t know if the security tools they deploy are working,” as professionals report that some security controls often falsely report the successful defense against an attack. BAS protection provides better clarity on these matters by creating verifiable evidence of its benign entry into the deployed system. A security control falsely reporting success can be identified and remedied with the help of that evidence.

Some BAS products offer control optimization that tests variations of your current security controls to find configurations that protect your enterprise best. This isn’t a replacement for human security experts, but it can make their work easier and more effective by suggesting evidence-backed improvements to your security controls.

BAS services that offer control optimization should also be able to identify unused or unnecessary security products. More layers of security is better than fewer, but if drowning in too many security products is what necessitated control optimization in the first place, it may be worth it to trim out some unneeded software. With BAS protection measuring the efficacy and utility of security controls, professionals can more confidently make decisions to remove obsolete and ineffective products. The savings from doing so might be enough to cover the cost of initial BAS service in some cases.

While other BAS services use only known vulnerabilities to map enterprise security, rThreat also produces unknown threat artifacts to stay ahead of zero-day attacks. Our pragmatic approach to cybersecurity validation includes the deployment of benign zero-day threat artifacts to test your enterprise’s resilience against emerging threats. With on-demand access to our threat artifact packages, organization leaders in IT and cybersecurity can protect assets from both known and zero-day threats. If you’re interested in how rThreat can help safeguard your company from cyber threats, contact us to request a demo today.


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