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Security Feature

December 11, 2019

Why Businesses Should Use BAS in Their Cybersecurity

Enterprise security firm Norton reported that were already 3,800 data breaches recorded just in the first half of 2019 alone. These events have compromised about 4.1 billion records and have accounted for millions of dollars in losses for affected organizations.

Unfortunately, cyberattacks that look to expose and steal sensitive data are only growing in number. According to an Accenture report, 68 percent of business leaders feel that their cybersecurity risks are increasing. As such, businesses are investing heavily in security measures and employee training to boost their security posture. IDC estimates that the worldwide spending on cybersecurity will reach $133.7 billion in 2022.

Given the growing risks of cyberattacks, businesses must not only adopt more robust security solutions but they must also routinely assess if they can combat the latest attack methods. Testing and risk assessment are now paramount to cybersecurity. Fortunately, emerging solutions such as breach and attack simulation (BAS) can help businesses evaluate their security posture and identify weaknesses that need to be immediately addressed.

BAS platforms such as Cymulate can automatically simulate end-to-end attack scenarios and determine if the implemented solutions can perform well against modern attacks. These tools can also give actionable insights to help IT leaders make thoughtful decisions to improve the organization’s security perimeter.

Security solutions can fall short

Businesses use a variety of tools to safeguard themselves from cyberattacks. For example, unified threat management (UTM) platforms are used to implement various security measures such as firewalls, antiviruses, and web filters in their network. Companies also adopt data loss prevention tools and encryption software to monitor file transfers and protect their data from being intercepted and exfiltrated. Unfortunately, advanced malware and more sophisticated attack methods can still bypass these tools.

For instance, hackers have already developed malware that can evade signature and heuristic-based detections typically employed by antiviruses. They are also exploring using artificial intelligence (AI) to execute their attacks. AI-powered malware are deployed to install hard-to-detect malicious polymorphic codes to files. These technologies are also used for smart phishing attacks that are highly personalized in order to trick employees to open bogus emails and attachments. Threat actor groups have performed reverse engineering to create advanced trojans that can be used to infiltrate multiple computer systems at a large scale.

This is why it’s crucial for businesses to ensure that their security measures are capable of detecting and blocking the latest threats.

BAS to the rescue

The unrelenting efforts of hackers to develop their attack methods have made it difficult for organizations to timely update their implemented defenses. Comprehensive routine testing must be performed to ensure that their security measures work as desired. This is where BAS can greatly benefit organizations.

Platforms like Cymulate can automatically run simulated attacks to test the capabilities of an organization’s defenses to detect and block suspicious activities. Cymulate can simulate deploying payloads containing worms, trojans, and malware to test if antiviruses and antimalware can detect and remove them. It can also check if firewalls can flag malicious traffic from entering email and web application gateways. It can also test if data loss prevention controls can block rogue processes that attempt to steal sensitive data.

Cymulate also gives numerical scores after each test to indicate the level of security that each tool can provide. It also gives corrective suggestions to help IT leaders implement changes and immediately replace tools that performed poorly against the simulated breach attempts.

The platform can also simulate social engineering attacks such as phishing campaigns. The dummy emails can be customized to replicate scams that are highly personalized and are cleverly disguised as messages from legitimate institutions and applications. The test can specifically identify employees who fail to spot these fraudulent emails so that companies can have these staff members undergo training to improve their vigilance and security skills.

Attacks are costly

The impact of security breaches can be devastating to businesses. Attacks can encrypt company files, corrupt customer data, and overwhelm servers that are essential in running daily operations. This can force companies to temporarily shut down their business and result in significant financial losses. Small and medium-sized enterprises can greatly struggle to recover after falling victim to such attacks.

Regulatory bodies can also impose hefty fines to businesses that fail to protect consumer data from cyberattacks. Customers whose information are compromised can also file lawsuits against them. To recover from this, companies must not only pay costly legal fees and fines but they also have to embark on public relations campaigns their damaged reputation.

These consequences cost businesses an average of $3.92 million.

Risks can be mitigated

Given the damage cyberattacks can cause, businesses must regularly assess their security posture. BAS platforms can help them test the capabilities of their solutions and plug the security gaps in their infrastructure. By leveraging the automated and routine testing, businesses can constantly reinforce their defenses and equip themselves with the necessary security tools and skills to combat cybersecurity threats. Ultimately, having comprehensive security measures in place can help organizations mitigate the growing risks of cyberattacks.

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