A data breach is a nightmare for any company.
Most businesses can’t financially recover following a costly cyberattack, but information leaks do more than financial damage – they tear down a company’s reputation.
Customers want to know their data is protected, and it’s virtually impossible to rebuild trust once it’s lost.
With the increasing number of data breaches headlining the news, most companies have already invested in security systems and employee training.
Nevertheless, successful cyberattacks keep happening.
Where do most companies go wrong with cyber security?
Many companies set up strong security systems, but they put them on the back burner. They might assess them once a year and focus on more pressing issues within the company.
The additional step many neglect is doing a continual checkup on their security systems. Nowadays, it’s done with continuous security validation.
What you should know about continuous security validation, how it compares to traditional assessment, and why do your systems require continual diagnostics?
What Is Continuous Security Validation All About?
Continuous security validation tests a cybersecurity system against the latest cyber threats.
To protect the company’s data, security validation verifies that:
- The right people have access to the data stored by the company
- No access to your data has been granted to hackers
- Your security controls are up to date
To ensure that your systems are updated, security validation relies on the MITRE ATTACK Framework – a major resource for common types of attacks and new tactics employed on the cybercriminal front.
After comparing notes with the new data within the MITRE ATTACK Framework, companies can decide which parts of security systems need to be improved or replaced.
How are systems tested against the latest attacks?
One of the many tools used for security verification is Breach and Attack Simulation – an automated process that continually tests your network with safe simulated attacks.
Continuous Security Validation vs. Traditional Assessments
Before continuous security validation, companies would do a point-in-time assessment of their security.
Traditional point-in-time assessment is being replaced with continuous security validation that is more efficient at rigorous scanning for weaknesses that must be discovered on time.
The key differences between continuous security validation and the traditional approach are in:
- The frequency of assessment – traditional assessment includes annual or bi-annual checkups, while continuous security validation verifies security every day of the year
- Type of assessment – traditional assessment relies on penetration-testing, and security validation on automatic in-depth scans combined with attack simulations of the company’s security system
- The cost – traditional checkups are thorough but expensive assessments, while continuous security validation is cost-efficient while being just as rigorous
What Causes Vulnerabilities and the Need for Continual Scanning?
The main reason vulnerabilities appear within security systems is that businesses grow and everything within them is constantly changing and updating. Another frequent reason for data breaches lies in weak passwords and misconfigured user accounts.
Updates are necessary for businesses, but they are bound to create an opening for vulnerabilities within systems.
For example, you may allow third-party vendors access to your network for any updates that make your network more efficient. If their systems are already compromised, that can create a pathway for hackers, allowing them access to sensitive data.
Combined with the constant flow and exchange of information within your growing systems, it allows opportunities for hackers to exploit any vulnerabilities that may give access to unwanted people.
Human errors, such as weak passwords, are easily preventable and common causes of vulnerabilities.
Regardless of the security systems you’ve employed to protect your structures, your network is only as strong as the weakest password your customers and employees use to log into your network. Insist on strong and unique passwords that aren’t used for other accounts.
While granting a reset for admin passwords or allowing access to new employees in your company, you can create a major vulnerability that’s caused by the misconfiguration of admin accounts.
This is an opportunity hackers will gladly use to get into your systems and obtain data.
In Short: Set Security Systems, Assess Security, Improve, Rinse and Repeat
Placing security points to protect your network on multiple fronts is only the first step in cybersecurity.
Cybercriminals keep finding new techniques and vulnerabilities to exploit and ways to breach networks or various businesses.
Therefore, cyberattacks are not going away any time soon. The best you can do is be prepared for any threats and frequently verify your security systems.
Continuous security validation and ongoing scans of your cybersecurity systems while also automatically testing them against the latest hacking techniques and attacks is the right way to do it.
Once any vulnerabilities are identified, improve your security and repeat the entire process.