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What Is Breach And Attack Simulation, And How Does It Secure Hosting?

2022-06-08 by Nikki Gabriel

When setting up new websites, clients want to know that they’ve chosen a hosting provider that prioritizes security.

 

For many organizations nowadays, a website is the backbone of their business. If taken down by hacking, companies can suffer major financial losses.

 

What’s more, customers trust businesses and their websites with their sensitive data, such as home addresses and credit cards. If that information gets leaked, customers lose trust in their businesses and might avoid their services in the future.

 

Ask any hosting provider, they’ve taken measures to secure their services and avoid harm from coming to their reputation and finances — installed the anti-malware and the tools that protect the systems that they use.

 

How can they know if the software that they have to protect websites really works — without finding that out following a successful hacking attempt?

 

To test their security, businesses can rely on Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS).

 

What is Breach and Attack Simulation?

Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) is a way of testing the security points businesses have set to guard their systems. To assess if the tools they have can hold their own in the case of a real attack, BAS simulates a hacking attempt in a safe environment.

 

Businesses have 36 access points on average, and they cover all the devices that a business has, the different technology they use to operate systems (e.g. cloud computing), and protocols essential for security.

 

As systems are changing non-stop with daily updates and others using and working on their services, security has to be put to the test often.

 

Frequent changes can cause vulnerabilities within minutes. BAS is an automated and continual way to test their services and uncover issues in the system before they turn into incidents.

 

What Needs to Be Tested with Breach and Attack Simulation?

To get an overview of their security efficiency, it’s important to evaluate everything that can cause security issues for websites. This includes both manpower and all the tools that a business has in place to defend their services.

 

Breach and Attack Simulation combines versatile testing methods. It can reveal if the weaknesses in their security are caused by people or lack of security solutions that should protect companies.

 

For example, to test humans, it does so with automated Purple Teaming that reveals subconscious biases of IT teams that are managing security. This technique also teaches teams to think like an adversary and collaborate.

 

Which Attacks Should They Test Against?

Evaluation of their security can be overwhelming for businesses due to the large number of hacking techniques. How can they test their system against all of them?

 

Start with the most common known hacking techniques that are likely to cause breaches or data leaks for websites. Those are the issues that have caused flaws in web security in the past.

 

Some of the common attacks that target websites include:

 

  •  Adware — malware that is hidden, and initiated when they click on an ad displayed on their website
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) — an attack that overwhelms the traffic on the website, making it too slow or causing it to crash
  • Cross-Site Scripting (CSS) — aimed at users of the website and tries to extract their personal information to breach accounts

 

Another issue in security is zero-day threats. New methods can cause major problems for their systems because they don’t have the tools to protect their services against them.

 

To combat the problem of novel threats, Breach and Attack Simulation technology relies on the database MITRE ATT&CK Framework.

 

The Framework describes all the latest hacking methods and attempts that have caused breaches for other web hosting providers. BAS updated its testing to include new data.

 

How to Use BAS to Evaluate Web Security

Web testing using BAS includes:

 

  • Assessing the security of the email that is linked to the web application
  • Evaluating if their tools can block malicious web browsing
  • Validating whether websites can defend themselves against an attack
  • Ensuring that the data that is circulating within the web applications can’t be leaked

 

The testing leaves them with a report that indicates high-risk gaps in their security. Top security risks have to be taken care of right away because they could lead to incidents such as data leaks.

 

Sophisticated BAS solutions also include actionable tips on how to bridge the gap within the security and defend their services from cybercrime.

 

What to Do Following the Attack Simulation

Testing the tools that businesses have for security will uncover vulnerabilities in their services. After the stimulation of the attack, it’s necessary to patch up those gaps in their security.

 

The vulnerabilities might stem from the tools they have to protect their services or people who either use or manage security.

 

If they discover that they don’t have the right software to protect their company from breaches, it’s necessary to add the missing security points.

 

A business might have all the tools, but they might be used incorrectly, causing issues such as misconfigurations. What’s more, their IT teams might not know how to use all the security solutions that they do have.

 

Another common root of cybersecurity weaknesses can be less tech-savvy employees that use their services and platforms to do their jobs. They might fail a phishing test or have weak passwords that are easy to hack.

 

Whether it’s their IT team that takes care of security or the employees that cause the vulnerabilities, this can be solved with additional training.

 

Conclusion

With the rising number of cyberattacks and an increasing number of companies using hosting services to run their business, cybersecurity is what builds trust and separates them from their competitors.

 

Therefore, secure hosting is non-negotiable.

 

To ensure that their services are guarded against common and the latest attacks, set up their security points, test if they can keep the system safe, fix any flaws, and repeat the process regularly.

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