Business Security: Maximize the Benefits of Breach and Attack Simulations

As businesses grow and their base of customers expands, they increasingly become a target of cyber attacks. We’ve seen the average cost of a data breach rise consistently over the past few years, now coming in at more than $3.9 million USD per breach. For many companies, this is a figure that they simply cannot afford to pay.


With customer relationships, personal data, and the future success of a business on the line, more people than ever before are turning to cybersecurity measures to keep their businesses safe. Out of these, breach and attack simulations have rapidly become one of the go-to methods to prevent hacking and strengthen a company’s defenses.

Now, how can you ensure that you’re maximizing the benefits that your business is set to gain from launching BAS?

Take Extensive Documentation

Breach and attack simulations, especially for businesses that don’t run them particularly often, can actually be incredibly fun and interesting for everyone involved. While the final product is always going to outline vulnerabilities, it’s important that everyone involved in these exercises understands the importance of taking notes.

The tools and software that your teams use will generate some time-stamped data. However, urge your teams to take live notes of what they’re doing, the pathways they’re using, and how they arrived at the vulnerability or fixed it.

Within your reports, you should do more than just outline the vulnerability that you’ve found. Instead, you should be able to build a comprehensive report on where the vulnerability is located, why it appeared, and how to fix it going forward. There should be a number of additional real-time metrics that are produced and logged during a breach and attack simulation:

  • Security score of your platform
  • Detection rate of your blue team
  • Compliance-related data (which we’ll discuss more following this)
  • MTTD (mean time to detect from the blue team)
  • Prevention strategies and detection methods

Across these areas, you’ll be able to build up a much more comprehensive report, which will help your teams to improve your security going forward. While the BAS can be fun, it’s vital that you don’t overlook the importance of documentation throughout the process.

Compare Results with SBOM News

The past few years have seen a huge shift left in terms of the principles and main focuses within cybersecurity. One of the results of this movement has been the uptake and proliferation of SBOMs (software bill of materials) throughout this field. In order to secure the software supply chain, which is increasingly complex, SBOMs are needed to provide visibility into what components software has.

When your business conducts a breach and attack simulation, you should compare your results to any known vulnerabilities that are listed in your SBOM. This itemized document will detail which third-party and OS software you’re using, and if there are any known vulnerabilities within them.

If you find a vulnerability within OS or third-party software, you should let the distributors know, so they’re able to include details about this in an update. Moreso, this gives them a chance to then fix it going forward.

However, if you finish your BAS exercise without encountering any vulnerabilities, you can then compare directly to known vulnerabilities, which should be included in your released SBOM. If you discover a vulnerability here that you didn’t notice, then you’ll be able to direct your team to a specific area, helping to guide them to better BAS practices.

This is a long process, but one that can radically improve the results of your investigations. These strategies will refine your skills, how effective your BAS is, and the quality of the final reports you submit.

Move To Automation

Throughout the past few decades, the vast majority of breach and attack simulations have been run internally by two parts of your cyber security team. While the red team attempts to break into your systems, your blue team will try to neutralize their movements. This strategy does have great benefits, helping to uncover core critical errors in your current network defenses.

However, if you really want to get the most out of your breach and attack simulations, then moving to an automatic solution is typically going to be your next step. Automated breach and attack simulation will grant your business a number of additional benefits, pushing the utility of this security strategy even further:

  • Save Time – BAS, as effective as they are, take a lot of time on behalf of your security team. Often a cross-department pursuit, launching a BAS will take a lot of time out of everyone’s calendars. By turning to an automatic system, you’re able to free up this time, ensuring your security team can work on other things while BAS runs in the background.
  • 24/7 Support – Unless you have an international team, there will be hours in a 24-hour period that no one is covering. When you move to an automatic BAS system, you’ll be able to repeatedly launch new simulations. This can become a 24/7 approach, helping you to continually improve your cybersecurity.
  • Systematic Strengthening – No matter how fantastic your security team is, there are always going to be certain areas where they’re more and less competent. This often leads to your business having much better security in some regards than others. When using manual BAS, the red team is likely to target hacking maneuvers and areas that they’re familiar with. Yet, there could equally be other common methods that they simply haven’t come across before. An automatic BAS system will move through the entire MITRE Attack Framework, helping you to holistically strengthen your security going forward.

Automation is the future of cybersecurity, allowing your business to stretch your teams further and do more to ensure the ongoing protection of your business.

Final Thoughts

Breach and attack simulations are one of the most effective forms of cybersecurity practice and improvement that your business can undertake. At this point in the game, this is far from a secret, with BAS being an incredibly popular tactic. Yet, by incorporating these strategies into your simulations, you’ll be able to get even more out of this security exercise.

From saving your employees time to producing higher-quality yield results of each investigation, the tips on this list will radically boost the utility of BAS for your company. Utilize these, and you’ll be ready to face the mounting cyber threat that we’re experiencing in 2023.