What are Breach and Attack Simulations?

11:05 am
February 17, 2024

**Breach and Attack Simulations: Strengthening Cybersecurity Posture**

Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) is an automated and continuous software-based approach to offensive security. Similar to red teaming and penetration testing, BAS complements traditional security tools by simulating cyberattacks to test security controls and provide actionable insights. Providers such as SafeBreach, XM Cyber, and Cymulate offer cloud-based solutions that allow for easy integration of BAS tools without implementing any new hardware.

**Summary**

Breach and attack simulations replicate various types of attack paths, attack vectors, and attack scenarios based on the real-world tactics, techniques, and procedures employed by hackers. BAS solutions can simulate network and infiltration attacks, lateral movement, phishing, malware attacks, endpoint and gateway attacks, and ransomware attacks. Following an attack simulation, a BAS platform provides a detailed report with a prioritized list of remediation steps if critical vulnerabilities are identified.

**How Does Breach and Attack Simulation Work?**

BAS solutions replicate many different types of attack paths, attack vectors, and attack scenarios. They simulate the most current attack techniques used by advanced persistent threats (APTs) and other malicious entities along the entire attack path. After completing a simulation, a BAS platform generates a comprehensive vulnerability report validating the efficacy of various security controls.

**What are the Benefits of Breach and Attack Simulation?**

The main benefits of breach and attack simulation are automation, accuracy, actionable insights, and improved detection and response. BAS solutions can significantly improve an organization’s security posture by uncovering up to 30-50% more vulnerabilities compared to traditional vulnerability assessment tools, according to a Gartner research report.

**Breach and Attack Simulation and Attack Surface Management**

A growing trend is seen towards integrating breach and attack simulation and attack surface management (ASM) tools. Attack surface management is the continuous discovery, analysis, remediation, and monitoring of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities and potential attack vectors that make up an organization’s attack surface. BAS solutions incorporate data from ASM tools to better perform attack simulations and security testing to determine the effectiveness of security controls in place.

**FAQs**

**Q: Can breach and attack simulations replace traditional security measures?**
A: Breach and attack simulations are not intended to replace other cybersecurity protocols but can significantly improve an organization’s security posture by uncovering more vulnerabilities and providing actionable insights.

**Q: What are the main benefits of breach and attack simulation?**
A: The main benefits of breach and attack simulation are automation, accuracy, actionable insights, and improved detection and response. BAS solutions can significantly improve an organization’s security posture by uncovering up to 30-50% more vulnerabilities compared to traditional vulnerability assessment tools (Gartner research report).

**Q: How does breach and attack simulation complement traditional security tools?**
A: Breach and attack simulations complement traditional security tools by simulating cyberattacks to test security controls and provide actionable insights.

**Q: What is the future trend regarding breach and attack simulation and attack surface management?**
A: The future trend is towards integrating breach and attack simulation and attack surface management (ASM) tools to gain a much clearer understanding of an organization’s defenses, from internal employee awareness to sophisticated cloud security concerns.

These simulations are a proactive defense measure, enabling security defenders to manage risk and fortify their security.

Source: Original article “What are Breach and Attack Simulations?” by IBM Security Community.


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