With the ever-growing threats, security analysts and professionals are always on the hunt for better security products.
Breach and Attack Simulation is a modern approach which promises enhanced detection and mitigation of bugs and security vulnerabilities in your organization’s security infrastructure.
Is Breach and Attack Simulation really the future of security testing? If yes, how does it compare with the present security technologies? Let’s find the answers.
Understanding Breach and Attack Simulation
Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) is one of the newest security technologies that look for security vulnerabilities in your organization’s cyber defence system. It provides features similar to automated penetration testing; however, it provides a more holistic solution overview than penetration testing or automated pen-testing.
As Gartner introduced Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) in its Hype Cycle for Threat-Facing Technologies 2017: Breach & Attack Simulation “allow enterprises to continually and consistently simulate the full attack cycle (including insider threats, lateral movement, and data exfiltration) against enterprise infrastructure, using software agents, virtual machines, and other means”. It is one of its unique selling propositions, which proves its advantage over other technologies.
What makes it stand out in the crowd is its ability to evaluate an organization’s security infrastructure in an automated, continuous, and repeatable way. This approach allows finding security vulnerabilities, identifying imminent threats, providing cyber-risk metrics, and suggesting the best mitigation actions.
Moreover, it enables continuous and consistent testing without high risks, i.e., it does not risk exposing or limiting your security infrastructure. Then, it helps the security teams validate the security of your organization as well as report the essential metrics to the business stakeholders and key decision-makers.
That is the reason Breach and Attack Simulation is one of the fastest-growing segments in the cybersecurity space — right after the middle of the last decade. Since it is growing in popularity, it is common to see new and old businesses opt for Breach and Attack Simulation — either alone or along with complementary security technologies like automated pen testing and red team testing.
Is BAS the Future of Security Testing?
Let’s discuss this question along with the third question: “how does it compare with the present security technologies?” since one cannot clarify the answer to this question without answering the other question. Let’s get into details.
“As organisations try and stay one step ahead of cybercriminals, Breach and Attack Simulations (BAS) are growing in popularity as a way of testing cyber resilience. The global BAS market is expected to reach $1.68 billion by 2027 – a 37.8% growth from 2018’s figures – primarily driven by demand for prioritising security investments as vulnerability management grows ever more complicated.
Furthermore, Breach and Attack Simulation technologies were highlighted as one of the top solutions for CISOs to consider in a recent report from Gartner, because of its effectiveness at testing against known threats,” according to IT PRO.
In comparison, automation is one of the major benefits of Breach and Attack Simulation, but then, it is also offered by automated penetration testing — also known as automated pen-testing. Of course, these two technologies perform a lot better than manual testing solutions like ethical hacking and penetration testing.
For example, automated testing lets you schedule and run the tests frequently, allowing you to detect and fix potential weaknesses or security vulnerabilities quickly. It is especially quicker when compared to the manual, one-off tests performed by the security teams. Moreover, if the security teams are automating tests, they can better focus on analyzing test results and fixing the issues.
Then, automated testing is more useful in enterprises and large organizations where networks are frequently changing or upgrading than small businesses. However, Breach and Attack Simulation’s automated testing can be limited in creativity and scope especially if compared to ethical hacking and penetration testing.
The reason being these manual, simulated attacks are performed by highly-trained security professionals, who may analyze an issue, create or run a test, or probe your organization’s security infrastructure in different ways. As you must know, no machine can completely replace human beings, thanks to our cognitive and creative skills. And so is true for security professionals too.
The good news is BAS technologies support working along with other security solutions including automated penetration testing and red team testing. And your security teams can design and automate or manually run creative yet enhanced testing flows using pen-testing.
Since Breach and Attack Simulation and automated pen-testing technologies can run side-by-side, your organization experiences the best of both worlds — automated as well as manual testing.
Moreover, BAS solutions take an aggregate, campaign-based approach to test and validate the overall security infrastructure while other security solutions usually focus on specific areas or weaknesses. That is why BAS works best when coupled with other security solutions.
For instance, it regularly performs tests and generates reports for the security teams, who can — then — analyze the overall security, run manual or specific tests, and fix the reported weaknesses. Also, it helps the board members and top executives make cyber risk mitigation plans, cybersecurity up-gradation plans, and more security-related decisions.
That is the reason, Breach and Attack Simulation technologies are the future of security testing. “The Global Automated Breach and Attack Simulation market accounted for $93.94 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $1,683.07 million by 2027 growing at a CAGR of 37.8% during the forecast period.
Some of the factors such as demand for prioritizing security investments and complexity in managing vulnerabilities from various sources are driving the market,” says the report Automated Breach and Attack Simulation – Global Market Outlook (2018-2027).