Thought Leadership

Dec 6, 2022

BAS 101 – Lesson 6: Enterprise Readiness

Learn how breach and attack simulation (BAS) drives enterprise readiness by reducing complexity and enhancing security in the final installment of this series.

Today we conclude our BAS 101 educational journey with a look at how an advanced BAS solution should enable enterprise readiness through quick implementation, ease of use, and sustainable scalability. If this is your first time joining the class—welcome! And be sure to check out previous lessons on the SafeBreach blog.

Over the past several years, many organizations focused on purchasing numerous security solutions to defend against cyberattacks. As a result, most security teams now suffer from “tool sprawl,” which has added significant complexity to their jobs. Ironically, tool sprawl has actually made it harder to maintain security due to the complexity of deploying, configuring, and managing the 70 to 100 security controls most organizations have in place on average. 

Any security tool can be useless if misconfigured or not properly integrated into other systems. Thus, any new solution should reduce complexity, not increase it, in order to be accepted and leveraged properly. BAS solutions do just that. Continue reading to learn how BAS drives enterprise readiness by reducing complexity and enhancing your security control environment.

Ease of Use

A BAS platform should be easy to use, with minimal training and tuning time required. Its user interface should be intuitive enough that security teams and other users can self-educate quickly. Secondarily, an effective BAS solution should fit without friction into existing workflows and not require significant professional services to be effectively integrated and work properly.

Speed & Flexibility of Deployment 

A BAS solution should be accessible as both a SaaS and an on-premises system. At present, most regulated environments (e.g., financial services, health care, government) require on-premise deployment or deployment as an instance inside a private cloud. Additionally, an enterprise-ready BAS platform must be able to deploy simulators of various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and MacOS. 

The BAS platform must also be deployable in major cloud environments, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Platform, and others. This necessarily means easy deployment on containerized environments. In reality, most large organizations now have a hybrid infrastructure that spans hosted infrastructure, private cloud, and public clouds. A BAS solution must accommodate these evolving hybrid architectures.

Gauging Ease & Speed of Deployment 

When asking about the standard timeline for deployment, confirm that estimates include testing and tuning time required to make the BAS platform production ready. Ascertain how much customization is required for configurations, dashboards, and report templates—and whether these are DIY or require administrator assistance. 

For attack simulator configurations, ask to see the specific steps required to set up attacks that cover your network and endpoints. If this is complicated and requires many steps, then the BAS tool will require significant deployment time and may contain significant hidden complexity. Find out how much training is required for your team to become proficient on the platform. Excessive rollout time only delays improvements to security posture and ROI.

Intelligent Scale-Up

To scale intelligently and easily, a BAS platform needs to determine which types of attacks to run, where to run them in the infrastructure, and in what sequences or rotations. For example, a BAS platform should run Windows attacks only on Windows machines, MacOS attacks only on Macs, Linux attacks only on Linux servers, and Windows Servers attacks only on Windows Servers. Similarly, the BAS platform should recognize the context of IT assets and, for example, run data exfiltration exploits only against databases and other parts of the data infrastructure. 

This intelligence is crucial for BAS to scale easily without stressing the operations team or becoming a resource hog. If scaling requires extensive manual tuning, this introduces human bias and errors, potentially generating security blindspots and, ironically, misconfigurations of security controls. In addition, BAS needs to be able to test attack playbooks across the entire kill chain and life cycle of attacks to spot enhanced security remediation opportunities. This is true even if the attack was blocked higher up in the chain by a control or other remediation measure.  

Support for Granular Role-Based Access

Because BAS can and should assist multiple teams within an organization—from executives to blue and red teams—BAS platforms must support role-based assignments. Executives can view reports and dashboards, while blue teams can configure and execute the various simulations, and red teams can create new and custom breach methods. Supporting granular, role-based access is essential for sharing the right information and capabilities in the right way with the right stakeholders. 

The Right BAS Makes a Big Difference

A BAS solution that lacks critical capabilities and integrations can cause lack of clarity, consume valuable staff time and other resources, and even hamper production services. On the other hand, a full-featured, well-integrated BAS platform significantly improves security posture through better analysis of the attack surface and remediation. Such a solution can pay for itself in a matter of months by enabling information security teams to be more effective, without adding more people and purchasing more security tools. Applying the right framework to the BAS selection process can simplify the decision and cut through marketing speak. To learn more, be sure to download our Four Pillars of BAS white paper in which we identify the key components of that framework—along with the critical capabilities associated with each—that CISOs and their teams can use to select a BAS solution that can serve as a vital solution to their security posture improvement efforts.

4 Pillars of BAS

Want to learn more about why leading organizations—like PayPal and Netflix—have chosen SafeBreach’s industry-pioneering BAS platform to support their continuous security validation programs? Connect with a SafeBreach cybersecurity expert or request a demo of our advanced BAS platform today.

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