Security team

What is the profile of your security team? Prevention, detection or risk management

Not all security teams are created equal. Every organization has a different goal.

In cybersecurity, taking a proactive approach isn’t just a buzzword. This is actually what makes the difference between staying behind the attackers and getting ahead of them. And the solutions to achieve this exist!

Most attacks succeed by taking advantage of common failures in their target’s systems. Whether new or not, known, unknown or even unknown, attacks take advantage of security vulnerabilities such as

unpatched or unexplored vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, outdated systems, expired certificates, human errors, etc.

While attackers rely on a range of automated offensive testing tools to analyze their targets’ attack surfaces and propagate within their network, a purely reactive defensive posture based on detection and response is increasingly susceptible to being overtaken by an attack.

The tactical logic is to emulate attackers’ TTPs and behaviors upstream by integrating attack simulation tools to continuously validate the tightness of the entire attack surface, the effectiveness of security controls , as well as access management and segmentation policies, etc.

Because cyber attackers typically move on to the next target when they overcome a challenge, organizations that have already implemented proactive tools and processes benefit doubly. Ordinary cyber-attackers are frustrated and discouraged, and attackers who specifically target them have to work much harder to find a way to enter undetected and progress unhindered within the network.

The mature and forward-looking thinking of these organizations in cybersecurity gives them a head start in terms of impregnability.

Concretely, there are different angles from which to look at and integrate attack simulation tools which can vary according to your objectives, such as for example.

Strengthen prevention capacities

Using a Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) solution continuously validates the effectiveness of your security controls, provides actionable remediation guidance for uncovered security vulnerabilities, and optimizes security prioritization efforts. the correction according to the probability of success of the attack discovered by the attack simulations.
When available in a BAS solution package, built-in immediate threat intelligence further increases resilience against emerging threats by automatically checking your system’s ability to thwart these new threats and providing preemptive recommendations to close any gaps. uncovered security that could be exploited by these new threats.

► Strengthening detection and response

Executing automated reconnaissance attacks strengthens your attack surface management process by uncovering all exposed assets, including long-forgotten or smuggled-in phantom IT, while continuously integrating simulation capabilities external attack with your SIEM/SOAR tool stack highlights its limitations and shortcomings. By granularly comparing the progress of simulated attacks launched with the proportion of those detected and stopped, it provides a clear and complete picture of the actual effectiveness of the detection and response network.

With a detailed map of security vulnerabilities and capability redundancies, streamlining the tool stack by implementing recommended tool configuration fixes and eliminating redundant tools positively impacts detection and response and, as a bonus, prevents environmental drift.

Once integrated, these capabilities can also be used to run internal incident response exercises with minimal preparation required and at no additional cost.

► Personalization of risk management

Embedding security validation into organizational risk management and GRC procedures and providing ongoing security assurance accordingly may require some level of customization of available out-of-the-box attack scenarios validating security controls and external attack campaigns.

A Purple Teaming framework with attack templates and modular widgets to facilitate ad-hoc attack mapping saves red teams hours of tedious work, maximizing internal red team utilization and speeding uptime scale of their operations without requiring additional resources.

When starting from zero internal adversarial capabilities, the recommended progression to integrating security validation solutions is to:

1 — Add security control validation capabilities

Tightening the configuration of security controls is a crucial part of preventing an attacker who has gained a foothold in your system from spreading through your network. It also provides some protection against zero-day attacks and certain vulnerabilities that take advantage of misconfigurations or exploit security holes found in vendor default configurations.

2 — Integration with SIEM/SOAR and verification of the effectiveness of SOC procedures

As mentioned in the “Strengthening Detection and Response” section above, integrating security validation solutions into your SIEM/SOAR array streamlines its efficiency and improves security. The data produced can also be used to optimize the human and process aspects of the SOC by ensuring that the team’s time is focused on the tasks with the greatest impact instead of investing their best energy in asset protection. of low value.

3 — Prioritize remediation


The operationalization of the remediation advice included in the data collected in steps 1 and 2 should be correlated with the attack probability and impact factors associated with each uncovered security vulnerability. Incorporating the results of simulated attacks into the vulnerability prioritization process is key to streamlining the process and maximizing the positive impact of each mitigation performed.

4 — Check the application of segmentation and hygiene policies


Executing end-to-end attack scenarios maps the attack route and identifies where segmentation gaps allow attackers to propagate through your network and achieve their goals.

5 — Assess the overall feasibility of the breach

Run end-to-end reconnaissance and outside attack campaigns to validate a cyberattacker’s progress in your environment, from access to crown jewel exfiltration.

Typically, forward-thinking organizations already attempt to control their fate by taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity where they leverage breach and attack simulation and attack surface management to identify gaps. in advance. Usually, they would start the journey with the objective of prevention – making sure they fine-tune all security controls and maximize their effectiveness against known and immediate threats. The next step would be to run SOC and incident response drills to make sure nothing goes unnoticed, moving on to vulnerability patch prioritization.

Most mature, well-resourced companies also want to automate, customize, and scale their red team activities.

Ultimately, when you consider integrating a continuous threat exposure management program, you’ll likely find many different point solutions, but ultimately, regardless of each team’s particular goal, just like in the real world life, it’s best to find a partner you can grow with.

To note — This article was written and contributed by Ben Zilberman, Director of Product Marketing at Cymulate.