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Simon Monahan
July 4, 2022

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Why BAS is key to alleviating the biggest threat to your business - assumptions!

How secure is our organization? It’s a question that security and IT professionals are asked on an increasingly regular basis. However, in many cases, it is one that many still find very difficult to answer with a high degree of confidence. Even large teams working for organizations that are considered cyber mature and invest in a wide range of security controls can struggle.

While indicators such as the number of patched vulnerabilities, alerts and incidents might be an obvious starting point for security teams to cite in reports, these metrics, as most professionals attest, are unreliable. They do not provide a full and up-to-date picture and are only useful to assess what is ‘known’ rather than’ unknown’. 

The rapidly evolving threat landscape and constant changes with IT environments mean that the answer to the question can also change from one hour to the next. We assume (or hope!) that assets are providing protection against current and emerging threats but without the ability to obtain a real-time view and more reliable data it’s hard to know for sure. There is a real risk of discovering coverage gaps only once it’s too late.

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A better way to measure resilience

At Picus Security, it’s our mission to help organizations avoid making assumptions about their cyber security posture by providing a more accurate, holistic and automated way to measure and strengthen resilience. By simulating real-world cyber threats, our Complete Security Control Validation Platform validates the performance of security controls to defend against the latest attacks, 24/7.

Security Control Validation is, in our view, the foremost use case of Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) because it provides real-time metrics that security teams need to answer the most fundamental questions about organizations’ preparedness. Unlike traditional assessments such as penetration testing which are vulnerability-focused, narrow in scope, and offer limited remediation support, SCV assessments performed automatically by The Picus Platform always supply quantifiable data to determine effectiveness and clear, actionable outcomes to guide improvements.

Want to understand your business’ readiness to defend against a new strain of ransomware? With Picus, it’s quick and easy to run a simulation to validate your prevention and detection controls against the specific techniques and actions used by the threat. Quickly establish if your firewall and email gateway are successfully blocking delivery of the payload used by the ransomware operator and its affiliates. Also test that any deployed SIEM and EDR solutions are providing a secondary layer of defense by validating that they are ingesting the right log sources and data, and are alerting on attack behaviors at the earliest opportunity in the ransomware attack lifecycle.

In the event that tools are failing to provide the level of protection required, The Picus Platform supplies vendor-specific prevention signatures and detection rules to optimize them. And to help ensure that the controls remain effective over time, the attack simulation (and related ones) can be scheduled to run on a regular basis. 

In order to provide assurance and to evidence ongoing improvements, security scores calculated by the platform to measure the performance of controls (both individually and collectively) can also be exported as a standalone report and shared with stakeholders.

Less than a quarter of organizations are highly confident that their security controls work as they are supposed to

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The importance of a threat-centric approach

To more effectively answer the question, ‘How secure is our organization?’, it’s also important to be able to frame the response in relation to the threats that pose the greatest concern. Since patching every vulnerability and mitigating every risk is practically impossible, it will never be a realistic aim to provide assurance that assets are protected against every possible threat. Instead, the key is to understand the types of threats that pose the most serious risk to the organization. At Picus, we call this a ‘threat-centric approach’ and it is key to helping security teams focus on what matters most and align attention, investment and resources accordingly.

The Picus Platform enables organizations of all sizes to become threat-centric by improving awareness of the impact specific attacks could have.  One way that it helps to achieve this is by mapping simulation results to frameworks such as MITRE ATT&CK, which helps visualize coverage gaps and identify mitigating actions that will have the most significant impact.

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Read more in our new whitepaper

If you’re interested to learn more about Breach and Attack Simulation and how it can help you to banish assumptions, develop a threat-centric approach, and maximize utilization of your security controls, download our latest whitepaper.

In it, also discover why Security Control Validation is the foremost use case of BAS , how BAS compares to traditional assessments, and essential capabilities to look for in a tool.  

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