How breach and attack simulations (BAS) help protect businesses

How breach and attack simulations (BAS) help protect businesses

Cybercrime is an evolving industry that has put a lot of pressure on businesses of all sizes to stay a step ahead of cyberthreats. Enterprises have turned to creative solutions, such as outsourcing cybersecurity and emerging techniques and tools. One such emerging tool is the breach and attack simulation (BAS).

What are breach and attack simulations?

Breach and attack simulations are used to test a system’s security levels, as well as to identify potential gaps and vulnerabilities in a business’s cyber defense plan. It’s often compared to a standard security testing, which involves conducting tests in a sandbox (a secure, simulated environment where the company’s real files and data aren’t put at risk). In a BAS, similar tests are conducted on the company’s actual system, targeting real files and potentially affecting the business operations to demonstrate how exploits can hurt the company.

BAS is also different from penetration testing (or pen testing) in that it is human-led and isn’t a continuous, automated program. Pen testing answers the question “Can attackers get in my system?”, while BAS answers the question “Does my security system work?”. As a general rule, it is smart to apply both techniques through the course of a business period, as they both point out flaws that the other might miss.

In many ways, BASs cross the lines of business ethics for the purposes of fixing security flaws and mitigating future damage. Nevertheless, it is better to learn from BAS experts' simulated attacks rather than from a successful attack by a real cybercriminals.

Types of BAS

There are three main types of BAS, namely:

  • Agent-based vulnerability scanners – These are scanners deployed inside an organization’s local area network (LAN) and distributed across its machines. Its job is to map out the potential routes an attacker might take to move through the network. It also individually targets devices to test them for vulnerabilities.

    This type of BAS is best for businesses whose machines and computers are brought out of the business’s secure internet network regularly, as well as for those in remote locations where internet speeds are more latent than in big cities.

  • Internal malicious traffic – This type of BAS tests a company’s network security by generating “malicious” traffic within the network. This technique utilizes a database of attack scenarios, and it targets virtual machines set up inside the network. This checks whether the business’s security solutions are able to detect and block the attacks.

    This type of BAS is best for businesses that have servers to spare, as it will require virtual machines that will serve as targets and deployment points. This is a great way to see how well the security system works against real-life attacks, as it assesses the security plan on machines that do not contain actual data. This means you can throw the worst types of attacks into the system without harming business-critical files.

  • Multi-vector simulations – Among the three types of BAS attacks, this type resembles real-life attacks the most. These simulations involve placing cloud-based agents on a workstation within the network, and deploying tactics that attack the company’s LAN both internally and externally, as an advanced hacker would. This type is also often referred to as a black box approach of BAS.

    This type of BAS is also the most thorough of the three, but it is more time-consuming and costly as well. It tests both the data system’s virtual “perimeter” and its internal defense systems in tandem and intelligently.

How BAS activities protect businesses

The major benefit of a BAS activity is that it can be automated, meaning the system can be tested at any time and at any chosen frequency. This ensures that your system is tested at its most “regular” state, and lets you generate a lot of data that you can use to strategize your security plan. It’ll also help you see how well your cybersecurity provider can cope with the constantly evolving threats nowadays.

Don’t leave your data and network’s security to chance — talk to our protection experts today on how you can leverage the latest cybersecurity technologies for you Maryland or North Carolina business. We’ll provide you with a smart strategy that is both cost-effective and dependable. Contact us today.

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