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When should I use breach and attack simulation tools?

Thanks to automation and other features, breach and attack simulation tools are an effective way to help network administrators keep their operations secure.

The purpose of breach and attack simulation, or BAS, tools is to test the existing infrastructure security components, processes and procedures implemented within an enterprise IT infrastructure. Results of the simulations can verify they are working as intended. If a simulated breach does make it through, the tools can provide useful insights into the effectiveness of breach identification and remediation processes. The growing popularity of BAS tools over the last few years shows the importance of running these types of security breach simulations.

There's no precise answer when it comes to determining when a breach and attack simulation should be run. Much of it depends on the business's need to verify that security prevention tools and processes are functioning as intended. At a minimum, simulations should be run on an annual basis and thoroughly reviewed. Additionally, simulations should be conducted whenever a major add or change occurs to the overall network and/or security posture of the enterprise infrastructure. This way, the changes can be verified to prove no unintentional gaps in security mechanisms were created.

Automation makes running tests easier

It should also be noted that the overall security landscape is growing more hostile by the day. As a result, from a data protection perspective, it's increasingly important to verify that security tools are functioning properly. Many security administrators are realizing that, compared to penetration tests that occur at regularly scheduled times, it's better to run continuous attack simulations and constantly tune data security tools and procedures.

The good news is that modern BAS tools are highly automated. Therefore, it doesn't take much more time out of a security administrator's day to continuously run breach and attack simulation tests.

This was last published in September 2019

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