Cybercriminals are relentless in conducting their attacks on almost all types and sizes of organizations and enterprises. They are practically fearless because their capabilities, fallout, number of targets, and scope of attacks have dramatically evolved. The damage they inflict to organizations and businesses is at all-time highs. It seems that things can only get worse because they continue to find vulnerabilities in many data security systems.
In the spotlight are the ransomware attacks, with the gangs getting nastier and craftier, as they relentlessly pursue profit. It is no longer about breaking into computer systems and encrypting data to deny access to organization employees. Today they are stealing some of the data they find and threatening owners that they will reveal the sensitive information to force their cyber victims to pay a ransom. In 2020, the highest payout demand was US$30 million in bitcoin (US$15 million in 2019), while this year, one of the highest was the US$50 million demand hackers made to Quanta, which produces notebooks for Apple.
The risk of being attacked today is very high, prompting C-level executives and managers to look for ways to boost the security posture of their organizations. CISOs and CIOs are now under pressure to make cybersecurity a top priority and allocate more budget to acquire better security solutions that are more resilient against attacks.
Types of data security controls
Corporate data is a valuable asset and securing it is a top priority. It’s not only because the loss of sensitive data from internal or external forces leads to financial loss, damage to reputation, brand erosion, and loss of consumer confidence. There are various industry and government regulations regarding data security that require compliance, and not implementing the guidelines has a corresponding hefty fine.
You can ensure your compliance and boost your data security by understanding the types of data security controls you can implement. You may need to refresh your memory, so here they are.
- Authentication of user credentials
- Access control
- Data backups and recovery
- Data encryption
- Data masking
- Data deletions and erasure
These remain the foundation that shapes the actions cybersecurity professionals employ to protect corporations. While the foundational data security controls still figure in the development of many data security programs, today’s scenario requires something stronger to defend against invasive tactics. While normal penetration testing enables security professionals to think like a cybercriminal and thus test the vulnerability of systems, using a breach and attack simulation approach to automate how vulnerabilities and gaps are addressed will be a more proactive means of protecting an enterprise or organization against such risks.
Breach and Attack Simulation: What is it?
Breach and attack simulation (BAS) enables enterprises to continuously and consistently simulate hackers’ attack cycles. It includes data exfiltration, lateral movement, and insider threats. BAS simulates an attack on the infrastructure of an enterprise, employing virtual machines, software agents, and other methods.
Breach and attack simulation, under the watchful eyes of professional cybersecurity experts, is run in a controlled environment, posing no risk to an enterprise. The continuous and consistent testing process alerts clients and IT personnel about existing gaps in an organization’s security posture. It tests the effectiveness of detection and prevention technologies, configuration settings, and security infrastructure.
The BAS platform can incorporate the MITRE ATT&CK framework to evaluate security postures by using a simulation from the vast catalog of the latter to simulations according to the most recent knowledge of attacks. The powerful combination of simulation testing ensures the quality of the remediation reports. Using the framework as a basis for finding potential vulnerabilities and attack vectors can help the security team identify every attack possibility, helping the organization effectively manage security risks and optimize the security posture of the organization.
Benefits of breach and attack simulation to an enterprise
- The breach and attack simulation process tests how the cybersecurity protocols of an enterprise can stand against a cyberattack. The simulation will provide a priority list of remediation steps the company should take if the test discovers any vulnerabilities.
- It can simulate malware attacks on endpoints, advanced persistent threats (APTs), and data exfiltration that moves through an organization’s network while targeting its most valuable and critical assets.
- It can combine and automate red and blue team techniques so that it can provide continuous coverage from breach and attack platforms. It’s up to you how frequently you want the simulations to run to ascertain your data security’s readiness to defend against malicious attacks.
- It mitigates security risks because the monitoring is continuous. It allows the security team to be defensive and take the proper actions to actively prove the security system for vulnerabilities before anything happens.
BAS market size and projection
The growing complexity in defending against security threats as the attack vectors increase, which drives the growth of the breach and attack simulation market. In 2019, the value was pegged at US$130.83 billion. Today the projection is that by 2027, it will increase to US$157.59 billion at a compound growth rate (CAGR) of 36.37 percent.
Finding the gaps in cybersecurity
You already know the most common cybersecurity gaps, such as lack of knowledge and awareness about data security, insufficient security program and tools, lack of monitoring, and inefficient crisis management and reporting.
With the severity and frequency of cyber threats today, very few data security programs can offer cutting-edge defense solutions and versatility of breach and attack simulation. With the process of simulating real-world cyber attacks, it can find the hidden vulnerabilities in an organization’s security program.