Offensive testing can keep enterprises ahead of adversaries

Offensive testing can keep enterprises ahead of adversaries

Security solutions are always a step behind hackers whenever a cyber-attack incident occurs. Despite new technology innovations, solutions and ideas, cyber attackers always find loopholes and new ways to create breaches.

They prove that any tools and barriers cannot stop the, and ultimately bypass them and exploit the endpoint. A new cyber-security niche is created whenever a new crack appears or start-ups emerge. Funds are raised, a dash of experts materializes, acquisitions are reported –everything happens instantly but apparently none of these are enough. In spite of all these protection measures hackers will find a new way to install a malware, steal identities or sensitive data.

Also Read: Identity is the First Step towards Zero Trust

Getting into the hacker’s Mind

Both the academic or real-life curriculum of cyber security programs are usually similar and also details the same fundamental principles. Practices are taught and processes are structured, however, this is always based on the experience of the past. On the other hand hackers do not follow any paradigms and heuristics. They have a different mind-set that makes them more creative than security practitioners. They are more agile and don’t have to follow any procedures or comply with any regulations.

Current approaches

Recognizing these differences, information security staff hires a group of “white-hat” hackers. Penetration testing is done to understand where they are vulnerable. However, its impact is usually low. Not because the pen-testers aren’t doing a good job, but because there are few inherent constraints. The foremost is that pen testing is done once or twice a year, and the frequency is not structured in a continuous manner. By the time the defenders get to execute a plan based on the findings, the vulnerabilities are long gone – whether patched, reconfigured or simply protected by a new solution.

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have improved detection but they are unable to stop a full campaign of a determined hacker from reconnaissance to root.

Also Read: Deep Learning and how it is Transforming the Cybersecurity Landscape

Continuous security validation

Information security staff and business executives get a baseline of the posture of their current state in order to optimize their preparedness for cyber-attacks from offensive testing technology or Continuous Security Validation. This is a completely automated system that has a base of thousands of attacks that have been launched against the network, the systems, the applications, and the devices, and ML has taken advantage of all this knowledge to recognise the attack strategy.

following the reconnaissance, the next phase is finding the penetration paths – an automated end-to-end campaign from the initial breach. Launching thousands of simulated scenarios against each and every security solution in the network to validate its configuration is the third phase helps to find what it misses, and prioritize vulnerability patching.

Through this technology, organizations “invite” automated hackers to find all the loopholes before real hackers do. This could be one way in which enterprise can be one step ahead… for a change

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