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How BAS Strengthens Cybersecurity: Threat Focus and Advice on Solution Choosing 

Traditional security assessments and methods of using threat data don’t answer the main questions in security assessment. Instead, companies rely on assumptions about threats and potentially remain at risk.
In this material, we will discuss how BAS provides security teams with continuous information about the readiness of businesses to defend against threats. This allows them to make better decisions and focus on defense.
You'll also learn why security control validation is a key use case for BAS and what security teams can gain from it.

Why Are Assumptions a Threat to Organizations’ Security?

Cybersecurity professionals must make critical decisions on the fly as the attack surface continues to grow and attackers become more sophisticated. In such a dynamic environment, it's no surprise that security teams are forced to rely on assumptions and intuition rather than metrics.
The result is an inadequate response to current and future cyberattacks, and a misallocation of time, effort, and resources:
● $3.6 million — the average cost of a cyberattack for organizations in 2021 (World Economic Forum); ● 25% of organizations can quantify the effectiveness of their cybersecurity spending in financial terms (Gartner); ● 55% of experts aren’t confident that cybersecurity spending is appropriate for the biggest risks facing their organization (PWC).

Why Is a Threat-Oriented Approach Vital to Your Resilience?

Security teams will never be able to accurately answer security questions in their organization if they make decisions based on assumptions. This prevents us from focusing on the truly vulnerable elements of security, and lack of awareness leads to unsuccessful investments and incorrect protection against threats.
To become more cyber-resilient, organizations of all sizes must improve their risk understanding and focus on threats. But how do you achieve this change in mindset without additional strain on already stretched teams and budgets?
Manual security assessments are important but slow, expensive, and don’t provide the full picture. Threat intelligence helps businesses stay abreast of emerging challenges, but the sheer volume of information overwhelms and hinders security teams without the right resources and expertise.
Breach and attack simulation (BAS) — a holistic, automated, and continuous solution — will help you gain a high level of awareness and put threats at the core.

How Does BAS Support the Use of a Threat-Oriented Approach?

Breach and attack simulation (BAS) offers organizations a faster and less resource-intensive way to focus on threats. Through automated, consistent, and continuous threat modeling, BAS enables organizations to gain a more complete view of their security posture and mitigate the impact of threats as they emerge.

BAS versus traditional safety assessments

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How to Verify Security Controls with BAS?

Security Control Verification (SCV) is a primary use case for breach and attack simulation that is key to security and threat targeting. With a BAS solution that offers a complete approach to SCV, you can:
● Test and measure the effectiveness of security controls at the prevention and detection levels. ● Get useful information and recommendations for using tools to the maximum. ● Simulate a wide range of threats, such as malware and ransomware, as well as techniques that use Advanced Persistent Threat Groups (APTs). ● Run continuous or on-demand simulations and generate security metrics that can be used to measure attack readiness.

Why Security Control Verification Is an Important BAS Capability

● Tests readiness to prevent and detect the latest threats. ● Measures and compares the performance of security controls. ● Demonstrates safety performance and investment value. ● Provides real-time data to help prioritize protective actions.

Quantitative Data that SCV Can Provide

Prevention Insights
Supported controls: Firewalls, Next-Gen Firewalls (NGFW), Web Application Firewalls (WAF), Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP), Secure Email and Web Gateways (SEG).
Validates: ● Preventing attacks using vulnerabilities ● Preventing web application attacks ● Blocking malicious incoming and outgoing traffic: ● Command and control activity (C2) ● Malicious file downloads ● Data theft
Detection Insights
Controls supported: Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM), Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
Validates: ● Logs and telemetry are collected and analyzed ● Security events are precisely timestamped ● Correlation rules run and generate alerts ● Alerts are generated immediately after malicious behavior is detected

Comparison of SCV with Other Types of BAS

Rather than specializing in security control testing, some BAS tools focus on attack path and attack surface management. These solutions are effective for some situations, but they often don’t address the most fundamental security concerns of an organization.
The same limitations apply to automated penetration testing tools. They can be used to better understand how specific vulnerabilities can be exploited, but their results may lack context.

Management failures were the top concern of CIOs in 2021

Source: Gartner

What to Consider When Choosing a BAS Tool

To make sure it provides the best security, evaluate its features in the following areas:

The Possibility of Modeling

Due to the variety of entry points and methods of attackers, it’s critical to be fully aware. To better understand how attackers can gain initial access to an environment and move deeper, a solution capable of simulating multiple attack paths should be prioritized.

Threat Coverage

The ability to simulate the latest attacks is an essential feature of all BAS solutions. Rate platforms by the number of threats they offer and how quickly they update their databases.

Ease of Use

A BAS solution shouldn’t complicate security operations by being difficult to deploy, use, and manage. Opt for a platform that makes threat simulation simple and seamless and can empower your teams to achieve greater impact with less effort.

Real-Time Reporting

To take fast and effective security measures, it’s important to have easy access to data for decision-making. Make sure your BAS solution delivers real-time data and automatically generates reports.

Integration of Technologies

Another essential factor is the ability of the BAS solution to easily integrate with security controls. For such platforms, out-of-the-box support for network and endpoint security tools will mean a deeper level of inspection and the ability to automate actions to mitigate threats.

Support ATT&CK

MITER ATT&CK has become an essential resource for security teams. Therefore, the ability of BAS tools to display simulation results in ATT&CK is an important feature that helps visualize threat coverage and improve decision-making.

Cloud and On-Premises Deployment Options

Flexibility in how a BAS solution can be deployed is also critical. Requirements vary and change over time, so choose a solution that easily scales and adapts to support new business and security needs.
In evaluating BAS tools, security teams should prioritize a solution that increases threat awareness and provides actionable information to reduce risk.

Focus on threats and improve your cybersecurity with Picus

Companies will only be able to make better security decisions and investments if they have a more profound understanding of threats. However, the limitations of traditional security assessments and the difficulty of implementing threat analysis prevent even businesses with large budgets from getting the information they require.
BAS allows organizations to get answers to questions about risks that were thought to be unattainable. With the ability to automatically and continuously model real-world threats, organizations can gain complete awareness of their security posture and make data-driven decisions.
Picus Security makes focusing on threats easier for organizations of all sizes. The Picus Complete Security Control Validation Platform empowers security teams by identifying gaps in threat coverage and visibility and helping to quickly and effectively address them.
Model the latest cyber threats as they emerge, continuously test the effectiveness of prevention and detection tools, and gain actionable mitigation insights to maximize security effectiveness with the Picus platform. 

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