3 minutes reading time (614 words)

Proactive Threat Simulation to Test Your Cyber Defenses

By Gregory Copeland,  Director - Technical Alliances at Keysight Technologies

Cybersecurity is rightfully a top concern for Enterprises and getting more so with all the high-profile breaches making the news. Leaders don't want their company making the news having fallen victim to a massive ransomware attack or denial of service. Consequently, last year your CIO gave you enough budget to upgrade to the finest new security tools, great! Now I've got the very best EDR, NDR, NGFW, SOAR, XDR, SIEM, MSP … you name the acronym, and our security team has it! So now our worries are over, right? right? 

But is your organization safe? How do you really know? Even the best cyber security products need to be properly installed, configured, and kept up to date in order to protect effectively – is that certain in your enterprise, especially with all your new security products coming online? Oh, and did your CIO also allocate sufficient budget and time to get the security team fully trained on all the products the company bought? Are alerts from your security tools being monitored, and if they are do the critical threats bubble up from the noise and get noticed? Have the company's security operations procedures kept up with the ever-changing threat landscape, and well as the new cyber security tools that the human security team relies upon? If the answer to any of these questions is "I don't know" then you need to find out. 

Rather than responding to cyber attacks in a reactive way, proactive testing of cyber defenses is needed to reduce risk and minimize consequential loses. Your team needs a way to safely simulate threats, and to see how their cyber defenses hold up. Just like an Olympic athlete needs to train over and over again to be ready for their big competition, your security team and the security tools they use need to be given regular workouts to get them ready for the big attack that will inevitably come. But training needs to be done safely – a ski jumper doesn't start off their career jumping off the biggest ramp, they practice landing into swimming pools, tuning their form in wind tunnels, working their way up smaller jumps, and so on in ever more realistic situations. Likewise you wouldn't risk intentionally placing actual malware into your enterprise to see if your cyber defenses catch it. On the other hand training needs to be realistic enough to get your security team ready to deal with actual threats once they arrive. 

Threat simulation is a security workout where realistic (but harmless) threats are played out in your actual enterprise environment – testing and validating whether your security tools, and equally important your security teams, detect and respond to the simulated cyber breaches. Techniques such as a simulated 'Dark Web' can be used to attack your Enterprise in a safe and controlled manner – and the detection and prevention capabilities of your security tools, as well as the readiness of your security teams, can be proven before a real attack occurs. As just like an athlete needs to workout regularly to be ready for competition, threat simulation can be automated to run continuously, and with the latest threats, to ensure your cyber defenses are ready for the ever-evolving threat landscape. 

With threat simulation in place, your CIO and the security team can rest easier knowing they've prepared themselves for the main event. They have a way to prove that their cyber defenses work to protect against the latest threats, rather than waiting weeks or months for attackers to try exploiting vulnerabilities. To learn more about threat simulation, contact us.

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Saturday, 02 July 2022

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