Risks and Rewards in Breach and Attack Simulations
According to the OTA 2018 Cyber Incident and Breach Trends Report, 2018 saw a 126% increase in the amount of sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) exposed by breach attacks. The report specifies that 95% of these attacks could have been prevented.
Nowadays, the question is not if company assets will be attacked, but rather if, when attacked, it can maintain its integrity. Therefore, frequent cyber security testing is mandatory for compliance with the internationally recognised ISF standards of good practice. In addition, hackers are constantly improving their attack methods, so you need up-to-date security. By running frequent cyber security tests, you can find and fix vulnerabilities before hackers can exploit them.
What is a Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS)
BAS technology tests a network’s cyber defenses by simulating cyber attacks, thereby continuously exposing vulnerabilities and uncovering misconfigurations. BAS is fully automated, so you can safely assess your cyber defenses continuously, in a real production environment.
- Uses real attack methods: It emulates a hacker’s thinking, and uses attack methods used by real hackers.
- Is continuous: Hackers are tenacious, and run continuous, automated attacks. BAS does the same.
- Is safe: In order to work, attack simulations run in real production environments, but your data and sensitive information stay safe and unharmed throughout the entire process.
One significant advantage of BAS is its ability to provide continuous testing at limited risk without harming your environment, and do that automatically. Pentesting, on the other hand, involves high human touch which needs to be repeated each time..
BAS tools are also cheaper to use and more efficient than training an in-house team or outsourcing one. In addition, BAS can run hundreds of tests a day and simulates attacks from different network segments, and across multiple attack vectors.
BAS software is being constantly improved and upgraded, so it can simulate attacks on new vulnerabilities, new attack patterns, and new malicious files. It exposes vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure, systems, software and processes, and gives easy to read results so you can see where your defenses are weak, and understand how to make them stronger.
The Risks and Rewards of BAS
BAS has many advantages over traditional pentest methods, but it’s not perfect.
Rewards of BAS:
- Exposing weak spots: BAS technology simulates attacks on every file, every user, every bit of information on your network, to find and expose vulnerabilities other technologies can’t.
- Endpoint testing: BAS provides sophisticated endpoint testing, to find known and unknown vulnerabilities and protect against advanced zero-day and N-day attacks.
- Finding invisible malware: Invisible malware is a new breed of threat, which doesn’t exist in any file on your network. It may be resident in memory or in the BIOS (basic input/output system). BAS software exposes this potential threat to your network.
- Knowing your enemy: BAS lets you look at your network and apps from the hacker’s point of view, so you can understand your vulnerabilities and strengthen your defenses. It also helps you learn how hackers exploit technologies and find new ways into your network.
Risks of BAS:
- BAS finds vulnerabilities, but it doesn’t fix them: BAS is designed to expose vulnerabilities, not fix them. If vulnerabilities aren’t fixed or users and security teams aren’t trained to react properly when a breach occurs, your network and apps are still vulnerable.
- BAS might sometimes be mistaken for a real attack: Since BAS runs in a real-world environment, the network being tested may think it’s really under attack, and react by shutting down all or part of its operations or blocking users. You need to make sure that you’re using reliable BAS software that runs invisibly, without disrupting your network operations.
- BAS is cheaper than other methods, but it’s not free: BAS costs less, is less risky and more effective than outsourcing to “white hat” hackers or running in-house penetration testing, but you still need to pay for the technology, and have someone to monitor the tests and then prioritize and fix the vulnerabilities.
How BitDam’s Email-Centric BAS Tool Can Help
BitDam changes the way cyber security solutions and BAS operate:
- Seamless application: Using BitDam’s BAS tool is a matter of a few clicks. It features easy, fast deployment, with no need to modify existing processes, policies, or rules.
- Visibility and actionable information: BitDam’s Email-Centric Breach & Attack Simulation lets you assess your vulnerability to email based cyber attacks. Results are displayed on an easy to read dashboard, within minutes from starting the simulation.
Contact us to schedule a demo or click here to use our free online SOC tools.