Now, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to worry about advanced threats, but there is an obvious strategy when it comes to phishing.
Modern infrastructures should be protected from both scams and more technical hacking methods — especially since phishing scams are often a gateway to more sophisticated cybercriminal techniques.
How can Breach and Attack Simulation help organizations uncover phishing schemes early, all the while guiding security analysts toward gaps in the security that allow them in the first place?
BAS Runs in the Background at All Times
Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) is essentially a security solution that tests protective tools (such as a firewall) against versatile cyber attacks. It imitates hacking methods to conclude if a criminal could compromise a specific network.
In case the simulated attack is successful, teams know that a hacker could use the same flaw to breach the system. Discovering the vulnerability before criminals do buys the team time to patch up any weaknesses.
The goal of BAS is to find vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to compromise the system. This data is important for security teams because it guides them, telling them how they can improve the security of a company.
One of the key advantages of the BAS tool is that it’s on the job at all times. The attack surface is changing all the time meaning that weaknesses can appear at any minute. That’s why BAS tests security non-stop in real-time.
Another is that it covers the complete attack surface (any software that can be the target) — from the employees’ home devices to the laptops used for work on the company’s premises.
For example, the second Last Pass data breach was possible because a remote employee (engineer) didn’t update their Plex software on their home computer. The same update was released three years prior to the attack.
This flaw enabled the threat actor to gain illicit access and use the employee’s deep access to obtain sensitive data — and as such, conduct a second attack on the Last Pass.
The BAS tool can be set up to test against both phishing and a variety of cyber threats that could exploit vulnerabilities that are waiting to turn into incidents.
Measuring and Classifying the Risk
You’ve probably heard the saying “What gets measured gets done”. In cybersecurity, data is everything. The problem is that teams get too much information which they have to analyze and apply to improve security.
Continual and automated Breach and Attack Simulation presents the findings on the dashboard, ranking the risk from the critical to those that do not pose an immediate threat.
The report is easy to read for team members of different skill levels.
How does that work?
For instance, this could mean simulating attacks such as shooting thousands of spoofed emails (containing malicious attachments and links) straight to the inboxes.
Besides the email gateway, Breach and Attack Simulation also challenges:
Following the simulated and automated attacks that occur 27/4, the intensity of the risk is measured and presented on a dashboard.
This means that professionals get a holistic image of the state of security at all times.
Identifying New Scams and Cyber Attacks
To identify the signs of novel hacking techniques, Breach and Attack Simulation is linked to the MITRE ATT&CK Framework. This resource is frequently updated to depict the new tactics that hackers have used to compromise the systems of other organizations.
For instance, this knowledge base depicts versatile phishing kinds that targeted other businesses in the past. One of the hacking tactics that are depicted in the MITRE is spear phishing.
What makes it especially dangerous is that it’s notoriously difficult to detect spear phishing emails. A bad actor takes their time to get to know the person they’re sending a message to. When they get in touch, they can impersonate a person’s boss or a work colleague.
MITRE depicts other sophisticated techniques that hackers tend to pair with spear phishing, elaborates on the procedure, and offers suggestions on how to identify and mitigate such threats.
This means that the BAS tool also has data that accurately tests the system based on the information that has been gathered following the real-life attack.
Recipe For Phishing-Free Inboxes
Most phishing happens via email. Addresses are relatively easy to obtain and a hacker can send many emails at once, waiting for the unsuspecting victim to click on a link or send them their credentials.
A well-crafted phishing email that impersonates an authority figure or organization can bypass spam filters that are meant to detect and block spoofed emails.
The thought that the solutions security teams use are not reliable can negatively affect their morale, and consequently lose trust in the tools and feel confident in their work.
Breach and Attack Simulation brings back confidence in the tools teams use for security. They know the solutions at hand are tested, truly work, and can be trusted. They have the data to back that up.
BAS tests security against phishing campaigns as well as new or more technical attacks that could compromise the system of a company.
Paired with phishing awareness training for the general workforce, layered security that is continually improved based on the latest assessment of the BAS tool is the type of testing that is the backbone keeping the security posture strong. It’s AI done right.