By now, most organizations have introduced software that prevents hacking of their cloud environments and employees’ devices. Additionally, many have introduced written protocols and guidelines on how to mitigate a cyberattack, and basic cybersecurity training for all teams in the company.
To check the strength of the security they have at hand and weed out weaknesses before they turn into incidents, they put it to the test.
Breach and Attack Simulation is an invaluable tool for companies that want to discover whether they can handle a hacking attempt.
How does BAS compare to traditional penetration testing, and what are the key benefits of the technology?
Breach and Attack vs Pen Testing
Penetration testing (pen testing) is the type of ethical hacking that occurs in several stages. The process includes detailed planning, thorough scanning, hacking, and analysis of documentation.
Planning is a critical part of pen testing. Cybersecurity experts (ethical hackers) choose the part of the system they’ll evaluate in the following stages.
To decide on which parts have to be assessed in the simulated hacking attempt, they scan to check the existing tools to get a general idea as to where the flaws could be.
Hacking involves attacking the system, i.e. attempting to breach the system. They try to exploit the weaknesses in the system to get access to networks.
The final step is the analysis of the documentation of the attempted breach. The report elaborates on whether the system has strong protection, highlights high-risk issues that could lead to breaches or successful cyberattacks, and suggests further steps.
Pen testing is detailed and conducted by cybersecurity professionals once or twice per year.
For certain organizations, annual pen testing is still obligatory.
What about Breach and Attack Simulation?
Breach and Attack Simulation is based on the idea of penetration testing. To assess the system, it also simulates breaches to evaluate the people and tools.
Following testing, it generates a report that shows whether the security has been improved as well as if there are any vulnerabilities that need patching up. The documentation includes actionable solutions as well.
The key difference here is that BAS is an automated tool that tests security for vulnerabilities all the time. Companies can choose the type of attack (e.g. DDoS) or part of the system (e.g. emails that are vulnerable to scams) and run the test incessantly.
With BAS, organizations know that their organization is protected all the time. For the attack surface that can change in minutes, this information is invaluable.
Both approach testing as a hacker would — like an adversary. A criminal’s perspective helps them discover weak spots in security.
Detect Vulnerabilities Early
Many things change as IT teams watch over a business’s critical assets and infrastructure. New vulnerabilities can stem from updates, logins, or misconfigured security tools or clouds.
Regulating security once a year could mean leaving them exposed for months.
To put that into perspective, the delayed response time on the hacking threat gets more costly minute by the minute. In 2021, cyber breaches have set organizations back by $4.42 million dollars.
Rare checkups are also not practical because hackers come up with new hacking methods every day.
To combat new techniques and prepare security for the unpredictable, BAS is updated all the time to include testing against newly found cybercriminal methods.
When testing the security, BAS relies on the MITRE ATT&CK Framework — a database of the latest hacking techniques that could turn into incidents.
Hiring cybersecurity experts (ethical hackers) to test security with pen testing is expensive — hence most organizations invest in it only once or twice a year.
Many startups and businesses that have developed new applications use pen testing because they’re obligated to confirm whether their product is secure enough for launch.
The BAS tool is a cost-effective way to be on top of things in cybersecurity because it’s automated and doesn’t require as much manpower.
Detailed Forensics with Actionable Tips
Continuous scanning and testing of the system paired with simulated attacks compares, scans, and analyses the system all the time.
That gives the BAS tool a lot of data based on which it can conclude if something out of the ordinary is taking place within networks. For example, it can discover unauthorized access or fallen firewalls that could result in a major data loss.
BAS tests the system for the common and new hacking attempts, but it also measures whether security has improved. If the security can be strengthened, IT teams will find the solution in actionable tips within the report.
Approachable For All IT Team Members
Even though IT teams manage security, not all of them have to be cybersecurity experts or even have the same level of understanding on the matter. Generated reports make the security testing approachable for any member of your IT team.
Since there are many routes that can lead to a career in cybersecurity, not all team members come into it with the same knowledge and expertise. Tools such as BAS can be a great aid as they learn the ropes.
Security Testing Is Maintenance as Well
Breach and Attack Simulation is a useful tool for companies that want to test their security.
Results of the simulated attack uncover weak sports in cybersecurity. The report indicates which parts of the security need patching up and whether teams need additional training.
Compared to the traditional annual pen testing, BAS is assessing the strength of security 24/7 and all year round.
Testing the security is more than just a task to cross off the to-do list and be done with it before entrepreneurs can continue operating or launching apps.
Instead, it’s an integral part of security maintenance. Without testing the tools and people that guard and interfere with cybersecurity, it’s difficult to know whether the tools organizations have truly work.