Assessing Cybersecurity with Extended Security Posture Management
A growing number of cyberattacks in the last couple of years made organizations acutely aware that they’re vulnerable to cyber threats.
To combat this issue and defend their organizations, businesses have invested in layered cybersecurity systems and tools.
However, businesses continue reporting successful cyberattacks that lead to data breaches and major financial losses.
Where do companies go wrong in their cybersecurity approach, and what can they do differently in 2022 to overcome this issue?
The truth is, even though they set up complex systems to mitigate cyber threats, businesses only test them against threats once or twice a year.
Within a security posture that can change in minutes, any misconfiguration of tools and flaws in cybersecurity that isn’t caught early can leave organizations vulnerable to cyberattacks.
As an alternative to expensive annual breach testing and attack simulations, organizations have made the shift to Security Posture Management.
Let’s break down how it evaluates protective systems against new and established techniques cybercriminals use to penetrate networks and obtain sensitive data.
Testing and Optimizing with Security Posture Management
The goal of security posture management is to test IT infrastructure and discover flaws that hackers can exploit to get into your systems.
To assess security, it uses various programs that simulate attacks and show how your system would hold against real cyber threats.
When employing multiple tools and software to simulate attacks on the network, it relies on the MITRE ATTACK Framework – a resource of the latest threats and attacks hackers have used to infiltrate networks.
After potential vulnerabilities have been discovered, the final step is to optimize the system and remedy flaws within the infrastructure.
This process ensures the system is prepared for attacks at all times, with continual assessment and optimization.
Systematic Approach to Cybersecurity
Similar to setting up layered cybersecurity tools to create a complex system that mitigates a variety of threats, Security Posture Management doesn’t rely on a single testing program. Instead, it utilizes multiple programs to assess the readiness of your security.
Extended Security Posture Management includes:
- Red Teaming
- Breach and Attack Simulation
- Purple Teaming
Each of these tools has its advantages and targets the simulated attack to test different vulnerabilities within your system. Some aim at identifying human bias, while others test the readiness of your infrastructure against new threats and techniques.
Red teaming is a practice that tests the readiness of your cybersecurity team. It approaches cybersecurity from an adversary’s perspective.
Teams are separated into blue and red teams. The red team simulates the attack on the system, and the blue team (unaware of the exercise) has to defend the network from a cyberattack.
After the exercise is complete, both teams analyze its data and work towards solutions that will help avoid attacks in real case scenarios.
While other tools test whether programs and tools have been misconfigured, red teaming evaluates the human factor in cybersecurity.
Red teaming evaluates your cybersecurity teams to determine if they need additional training. It tests if they know how to use security tools and how long they take to react and mitigate the threat.
Breach and Attack Simulation
Breach and attack simulation is a new method of testing security in real-time. It does so by targeting the infrastructure with the latest cyber techniques hackers have used to perform attacks.
Similar to penetration tests, it mimics the attacks in a safe environment without affecting the infrastructure.
Breach and attack simulation automatically and constantly tests the entire network. As a result, it can run 24/7, replacing expensive manual testing.
Purple teaming is a bridge to the red and blue teams in cybersecurity. It combines two teams (red and blue).
Instead of working against each other, they have to work together to strengthen security controls, systems, and protocols that are in place.
During purple teaming, both teams are aware that the systems are being tested. Hence, they can use their knowledge to better systems in place.
Testing Security Controls with Extended Security Posture Management
Organizations use more advanced tools to test their cybersecurity because hackers keep finding new and more sophisticated techniques to get into networks.
Approaching the security as an adversary instead of as a defender makes the assessment of security controls more thorough.
You seek vulnerabilities the same way hackers do – not only in the security controls or lack thereof but by relying on human errors and biases.
Automatic and continual assessment, instead of the annual penetration test, is vital to security because it’s difficult to predict the next flaw within the infrastructure that is changing all the time.