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The Importance of Continuous Security Validation in Ensuring The Safety of Your Data

office There is a never-ending battle between organizations and cybercriminals. With the number of people and enterprises connected to the internet, each one faces the risk of a cyber-attack at any time. And any type of cyber-attack is costly. The cost components include:

  • Lost data
  • Disruption of business
  • Loss of revenue due to system downtime
  • Damage to a brand’s reputation
  • Cost of notification

Today, the prevalence of ransomware attacks is becoming a significant concern. Five years ago, ransomware attacks occurred every 40 seconds. This year, the occurrence is every 11 seconds. Do cybercriminals have better technologies to launch ransomware attacks, or are cybersecurity defenses of most organizations not delivering their promises? It makes one think.

Why cyber breaches continue to happen

You can attribute the growth of data breaches to the people and organizations’ reliance on technology, which intensifies the vulnerability of companies. Organizations are quick to adapt to new technologies like IoT and 5G. Hackers are also quick to adapt to recent trends and use various methods to target multiple entryways. But while they provide many benefits to businesses, these systems require new and advanced security procedures to address the new breach weaknesses.

Human error, lack of cybersecurity awareness and education, lack of proper cybersecurity protection and protocols, failure to employ reporting standards, lack of cyber insurance, and absence of encryption strategies are just some things that companies do wrong.

What can businesses do?

While businesses cannot be entirely secure from a cyber-attack, they can minimize the risk of data breaches by instituting some best practices:

  • Ensuring security software is up to date
  • Regular vulnerability assessments
  • Data backup and encryption
  • Staff awareness and training
  • Ensuring partners and vendors have adequate data protection
  • Data security evaluations from security experts

What is continuous security?

Cyber-attacks occur anytime; thus, the organization must ensure continuous security validation and monitoring. Constant security monitoring is a proactive threat intelligence approach, becoming very popular to many forward-looking organizations worldwide. Automated threat detection can monitor applications, servers, databases, and networks in real-time. It helps companies to identify and respond to threats effectively and limit the impact of cyber-attacks. Moreover, it helps organizations monitor the requirements on compliance and security.

The case of the Kaseya breach

Kaseya, an IT solutions developer for managed service providers (MSPs) and enterprise clients, was attacked on the U.S. Independence Day weekend. This threat on Kaseya only goes to show how vital continuous security validation is in data protection. It proves that anyone can fall victim to cybercriminals. It also indicates that enterprises should not be complacent, thinking that their existing security protocols will provide sufficient cyber protection.

Kaseya provides IT outsourcing shops with software tools to handle back-office work for various companies with modest resources to maintain their own IT departments. One of Kaseya’s most popular software is Kaseya VSA for remote network management. This type of software is the most likely place to hide a back door since it performs various tasks and has broad access, making monitoring harder.

According to reports, a malicious hotfix was released and pushed by the VSA servers of Kaseya on July 3. The hotfix propagates to various Kaseya-managed servers, resulting in the compromise and encryption of several businesses, estimated to be between 800 and 1,500, according to Fred Voccola, Kaseya’s CEO. Many were small business concerns like accounting firms or dental offices, but the effect was massive. For example, schools in New Zealand went offline. Hundreds of supermarkets in Sweden closed because they cannot use their cash registers.

The ransomware payload, called Sodinokibi, was released by REvil, according to reports. The notorious group is demanding US$70 million from Kaseya.

Security trends

Organizations are facing a wide range of cyber-attacks in 2021. With the continued reliance on technology for computerized systems to manage daily operations, businesses must make cybersecurity their primary goal to secure data from various cyber-attacks. Emerging security trends include cloud vulnerability, data breaches, targeted ransomware, insider threats, IoT with 5G networks, and automation and integration.

Importance of continuous security validation

With the current cybersecurity scenarios, it is crucial to be prepared for a cyber-attack. Any enterprise needs to check if there are vulnerabilities in their cybersecurity systems. Continuous security validation is a program that allows you to look at your security system from the perspective of a cyber-attacker. It’s an integrated and customizable platform created to assess, challenge, and optimize your organization’s security posture. The program frequently tests your security controls to ensure that they are performing as expected.

What you should know about continuous security validation

Unlike most traditional cybersecurity tools, the continuous security validation platform can determine gaps in organizational security in seconds and rectify these gaps. It provides an effective means to counteract the determined attempts of cybercriminals to break through a company’s security defenses.

Continuous security validation focuses on checking if a company’s security controls work and what parts of the security system needs replacement or improvement. Through repeated testing and cyber-attack emulations, the system keeps track of the state of the security program and how it will fare in case of an actual attack.

Professionals validate in a secure environment to prevent damage to a business. The validation simulates dangerous cyber-attacks to collect data on the quality of the security system of an enterprise and how it will respond to a similar attack.

Best practices and benefits

Enterprises will gain several benefits from deploying the continuous security validation platform. With its capacity to do frequent testing and validation, an organization will increase its cyber resiliency. You will gain more insight into what happens during an attack as the platform tests the effectiveness of your surety tools and controls by emulating true threat actors. The platform will develop an organizational cyber threat model to show you the high-risk areas and prime information assets you should focus on and provide you with regular analysis of identified security observations the system generates. It likewise gives an enterprise better defense against zero-day vulnerabilities.

Network security is critical today, and because data is the most valuable resource for any organization, its protection should be the top priority. Enterprises should have data security strategies tailored to their specific operations and cyber risks. The most useful are:

  • Risk assessments
  • Network endpoint security (in light of remote work and shadow IT)
  • Creation of a resilient cybersecurity culture
  • Incident response policy
  • Network threat detection through visibility, continuous security validation, and adoption of the MITRE ATT&CK framework

MITRE ATT&CK is a framework supporting the implementation and execution of continuous security validation. It provides a range of techniques to enable organizations to develop customizable attack simulation models. The enterprise can conduct credible tests using the platform’s extensive library on real-world cyber-attacks. It allows the company to assume an attacker’s mindset when trying to break through an organization’s defenses using various attack variables.

In conclusion

Continuous security validation determines if your cybersecurity defense works. It has an extensive capacity to conduct frequent security system validations. The platform offers your company the opportunity to evaluate your security system, determine gaps, remediate them, test your security controls, and determine how it will respond to real threats.