Is Your Organisation Addressing Cyber Security the Right Way?

May 2nd, 2019

Find Out With Cyber Security Validation

With heightened complexity of IT environments and the rise of sophisticated attacks, it is vital organisations measure the effectiveness of their security controls. Having clear controls, processes and policies in place for detecting and mitigating cyber attacks is key to effective security. By periodically verifying the effectiveness of these, organisations will be able to better evaluate risk and detect, prevent and respond more quickly to threats.

Typically, Organisations Have Ultilised Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Scanning

Both penetration testing and vulnerability scanning are used to find and secure security gaps, but they have their differences. A vulnerability scan identifies, quantifies and prioritises vulnerabilities in a system via a scanning tool. Whereas a penetration test will go that extra mile and attempt to exploit vulnerabilities instead of just inform the organisation of their existence.

While both have their part to play in vulnerability management, they also have their downfalls. One shortcoming of a vulnerability scan is its inability to predict complex attack strategies, as well as its capacity to create false positives, in which a scanner will flag a security vulnerability, that isn’t actually there.

With pen testing in more cases than not pen testers have restricted access to the target environment, it’s because of this and their limitations on tools, that pen testing is unable to detect all vulnerabilities in the organisation’s network.

Why are Attack Simulations More Effective?

Attack simulations, on the other hand, assesses controls by allowing organisations to take a real-world approach to cyber risk and determining whether its security architecture provides the protection needed to fight off attacks. Attack simulations also help shed light on cyber security flaws and identify control gaps.

One way to think about security gaps in your IT systems is to picture your network as an extension of your house. Imagine a ladder lying on the ground and an open window to a second floor, both scenarios alone are not seen as threats but if someone was able to use this ladder to enter the open window then this would become a successful exploitation of vulnerabilities to launch an attack.

By conducting attack simulations, organisations can identify and link these vulnerabilities and remediate them before malicious actors have the chance to exploit them.

Attack Simulation vs Traditional Methods: Which is better?

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of attack simulation and traditional methods including penetration testing and vulnerability scanning in our download.

Why is it Important for Organisations to Understand Risks and Validate Controls?

Understanding where your vulnerabilities are and becoming aware of how these can impact business operations, could be the difference between reacting to an incident or responding to a breach.

Research has revealed that in 60% of cases, attackers can compromise an organisation within minutes, and that 66% of organisations wouldn’t be able to recover from a cyber attack. This statistic could be lowered by if more organisations took steps to repeatably assess their security posture.

Alongside this, it has become apparent that organisations invest over $80 billion in cyber security, yet 80% of security products capabilities are not utilised fully.

However, with the help of attack simulations you can allocate budgets in the right areas by identifying risks and flaws. Fundamentally decreasing spend by only investing in technologies your organisation will actually benefit from.

15% of vulnerabilities are a result of misconfiguration, the majority of these security gaps can be attributed to a lack of validation of network changes and updates.

Another worry is that many security solutions only block 46% of emails containing ransomware, a defect which would be highlighted though verification checks.

As advanced risks bring time-sensitive attacks, SOC’s are required to expose and respond to these attacks within seconds to minutes; validating security gaps will help SOC’s perform effectively. Envisioning how an attacker thinks or how they conduct their attacks could lessen the time it takes to detect or mitigate.

Validating IT systems and security controls and processes not only strengthens an organisation’s ability to adapt to regulatory demands and operational challenges, but it provides a comprehensive report of how security issues were identified and how these should be remediated. Validation will ultimately reduce the risk level of your organisation.

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