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Before we get into the benefits of this solution and how you can validate security decision-making, it’s important to explain what exactly, breach and attack simulation, is.

What is breach and attack simulation?

The name really does say it all, it is a process of simulating a ‘real world’ cyber-attack on your organisation to identify any vulnerabilities in your security controls. These types of simulation can also mimic an attacker inside your network once it has been breached to see how far they could get within your network, all without affecting or breaking any systems.

The simulated cyber-attacks mimic real-life complex attack scenarios that attempt to breach your network through various techniques. These can vary from a phishing email being sent to test email filters to (non-malicious) malware files being placed on systems and monitoring if anti-malware tools can identify them.

The aim of BAS is to regularly test your organisation’s security and to provide empirical data on vulnerabilities in order provide actionable insights on how to remediate them before hackers can exploit them.

Benefits of breach and attack simulations (BAS)

Speed - Penetration tests still have their place, especially for industries that require them for compliance, however, in the time it can take to organise, execute and report on them, the information found could already be out of date and new vulnerabilities are not protected against. BAS can be easily and quickly deployed on a 6-monthly, quarterly or as often as needed basis to test your defences against the latest cyber threats.

Test existing security controls against the full attack kill chainStudies have found that organisations can have up to 50+ security tools implemented. This seems like a lot to manage, and ultimately is fine, however, do organisations know if all their tools are working correctly? It’s always better to discover what isn’t protecting your business and remediate before you suffer a legitimate breach. BAS offers businesses the opportunity to test their current security tools without disrupting business operations. Testing defences against the full attack kill chain by simulating the tactics, techniques & procedures deployed by real attackers

Provide actionable insights to remediate – It’s important to know if a security tool isn’t working and it is equally important to know how to plug those security gaps. BAS can identify these vulnerabilities and recommends actions for security professionals to remediate them.

Benchmark security against the industry standard – Different sectors are targeted differently by cybercriminals so it’s important to know how your organisation’s security stands against your industry peers. New cyber-attacks are hitting the headlines every day and what if a competitor of yours was successfully hit by a particular malware, wouldn’t you want to know if your organisation was vulnerable to it too? When new threats are discovered in the wild, BAS platforms can incorporate these into the system and allow your organisation to see how your security would defend against the threat rather than guessing the result.

Inform security decision-making with detailed reports – Justifying additional funds from the board can be difficult at the best of times, couple that with a really tough year and your request for security investment just became even tougher. However, BAS can provide your IT team with the detailed reports to show where and how your security is weak and what needs to be done to remediate. From a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)/ Security Manager point of view, it’s a win-win situation; you either obtain the necessary sign off to fix your security gaps and are better protected or if you are denied funds and suffer a breach via an identified vulnerability, you have evidence to show your efforts to protect the business should the worst happen.

Blaming aside, the reports also provide scoring of vulnerabilities so that your IT team can prioritise the most critical flaws. This is especially important considering the never-ending amount of patches released that IT departments are faced with every week. Microsoft alone has had on average 100+ patches released every month in 2020 – this is unmanageable for even the largest of companies and requires prioritisation to ensure the best protection.

Why Vulnerability Management?

 You would want to know if a window or door lock to your house wasn’t working. That’s why, at its simplest, vulnerability management is so important for protecting organisations. Having visibility of network and identifying gaps in your security that require patching is essential. However, the scale of patches released by vendors and the sheer number of endpoints a business can have creates a very difficult job for IT departments. The Edgescan Vulnerability Report 2020 found that “64% of professionals admitted to not being fully aware of their organisation’s web applications or end-points” which could mean there is a worrying amount of vulnerabilities being missed.

Save Time, Resource and Skills

There are 2 resources that are highly valuable to any organisation; skills and time. According to the Edgescan 2019 Cyber Survey at Infosecurity Europe, “More than 60% of security professionals estimate that their organisations security function, spend over 3 hours per day validating false-positives”. Many IT departments are already stretched with tighter budgets forcing them to do more with less and are expected to have the skills and knowledge to defend against cyber threats. Oh, and did I mention that there’s currently 2 million security job roles unfilled across the globe?

Celerity’s Citadel Cyber Threat Insight is a fully managed service designed to test the strength of your security by simulating real cyber-attacks across all attack vectors based on MITRE ATT&CK™ framework.

It is a cloud-based service that is quick to deploy, will regularly scan your environment, business services and endpoints, and provides an easy-to-read report showing risk levels with the ability to drill down and assess individual threats in your environment. The service can then perform remediation activities, closing gaps in security, improving visibility and reducing the risk to your organisation from cyber threats. Fully managed attack simulation and vulnerability management locates, identifies and reports vulnerabilities providing continuous security validation across the full cyber kill chain™.

Delivering this service is a team of highly-experienced, certified security professionals helping to mitigate resource burden and augment existing in-house capabilities, removing the need for developing specialist security skills in house.

To learn more about Citadel Cyber Threat Insight Service visit our website: www.celerity-uk.com/cyber-threat-insight-service

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David Taylor

Written by David Taylor

David is a Digital Marketing Executive at Celerity and drives their digital activity including campaigns, website, blog writing and social media. He has a passion for digital marketing and all things tech - especially in cyber security.