While digital security technologies constantly advance, cybercriminals can still outpace them and launch new, devastating attacks.
If you fall prey to these onslaughts, you experience operational disruptions. You can also lose millions of dollars worth of data. Consequently, you ruin your customers’ trust, brand reputation, and bottomline. The attacks can even shut your business down (permanently).
Because of these threats, you can’t afford to be ignorant of your cybercriminals’ tactics and remain defenseless.
You need to implement robust security methods to safeguard your business — and one of these is continuous security validation.
In this guide, we’ll explore what it is and why implementing continuous security validation is a must for your business.
What’s continuous security validation?
Continuous security validation is an approach that examines whether your cyber defense controls are operating properly or not.
It entails identifying cybersecurity system elements you need to enhance, fix, or replace. Continuous security validation is a constant process of testing your defense controls.
However, “continuous” does not have to mean running this security method incessantly 24/7. It rather indicates the opposite of one-time or seasonal assessments. You don’t stop with only a few findings either.
Instead, you repeat the testing processes to check and improve your safeguards and beware of malicious attempts constantly and proactively.
Using highly reliable platforms for continuous security validation can help you enhance your implementation of the cyber safety approach.
5 reasons to enforce continuous security validation
So, why do you always need to monitor your defense controls preemptively? Here are four reasons:
1. Cybercrimes can happen anytime.
Cyber adversaries often launch assaults without prior notice. They infect devices and networks any time they wish, and you can’t tie them to periodic cybersecurity checking schedules. So, every hour you leave your defense controls vulnerable and unchecked is a chance for criminals to attack.
Leveraging continuous security validation platforms gives you visibility across the entire cyber kill chain. They can provide well-timed notifications on your cybersecurity gaps and automatically initiate defense testing. These tools can even assist you with handling other safeguard components, e.g., business processes and employee behaviors.
2. You can brace your business against potential threats.
Cybercrimes can happen anytime, which is why you can’t let your guard down and postpone your defense checks for another day.
Continuous security validation prompts you to be vigilant at all times and use each minute to fortify your safeguards.
Pair this method with the MITRE Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge (ATT&CK) framework to maximize your cybersecurity.
Doing so opens your eyes to a spectrum of potential cyber assaults and entry points criminals frequently execute and target.
Additionally, applying continuous security validation and the ATT&CK framework enables you to check specific IT components for vulnerabilities. Once you uncover these weaknesses, you can then take the next steps to fix them.
3. Evolving cyber threats are tough to catch.
Another reason to implement continuous security validation is that evolving cyber-attacks are tricky to detect, recognize, and stop.
For instance, zero-day attacks are a persistent threat. They occur when hackers exploit a software flaw before developers can patch it. These assaults progress so quickly that you can lose all data before blocking an injected virus or attack.
Zero-day attacks can come in different ways, such as malware-infected email attachments and links leading to downloadable malware. Hackers can also launch those assaults through websites tricking or forcing you to install malicious software. Emotet, Dridex, Trickbot, and the Ryuk ransomware are examples of these malware-tainted systems and onslaughts.
Continuous security validation lets you discover the newest cyber threats immediately and stop them from infiltrating your systems. If some potential attacks manage to breach your initial defenses, you can still execute mitigation measures quickly and prevent aggravation.
Use continuous security validation alongside the MITRE ATT&CK framework plus external threat intelligence for maximum protection against evolving threats.
4. You can concretely check your cyber defenses’ effectiveness.
Continuous security validation assesses the effectiveness of your safeguards — be they cloud-based, appliances, or software.
It lets you check your systems’ safety level through concrete measures (e.g., simulations). Continuous security validation can also provide tangible proof of your defenses’ strength (especially when evaluating with the ATT&CK framework).
For example, when implementing security validation, ask your IT team whether they noticed an attack specified in the framework. If they didn’t, you could say that your safeguards were not ironclad enough.
Continuous security validation also prevents you from making mere assumptions or guesses about your cyber defense.
It even lets you rely on more than just your vendors’ spoken answers of whether you’re safe from an attack or not.
Using security validation platforms, you can monitor and receive alerts on your IT vulnerabilities and new threats detected. You can constantly run scans and tests and quickly respond to your findings accordingly.
5. You can develop and enhance cybersecurity programs and policies.
Continuous security validation exposes weak defenses and any incorrect cyber safety assumptions.
Consequently, this gives your company a chance to fill in any cybersecurity loopholes and apply corrective fixes and measures.
Additionally, continuous security validation is an excellent start to establishing an airtight cyber defense program if you don’t have one yet.
You can refer to the MITRE ATT&CK model and your security validation findings to create that program.
Your cybersecurity program should focus on higher-risk areas and critical data assets. It must also include company policies, safety protocols, risk prevention and mitigation plans, reporting mechanisms, proper responses to breaches, etc.
Moreover, you need to create a strong cybersecurity culture by implementing best practices across all organizational levels. These are:
- To provide sufficient cybersecurity training to all staff members, not just the IT department. Teach them to recognize fraudulent techniques (e.g., phishing, whaling, etc.) and ways to report them correctly.
- Enforce protocols on creating strong account credentials: maximum and minimum character length, password expiration, use of mixed characters, and more.
- Remove system roles and permissions given to people no longer employed in your company.
- Limit people’s access to your server room and sensitive data. Only permit those whose jobs are directly relevant.
Don’t miss out on the benefits of continuous security validation.
Continuous security validation is among the essential cyber safety strategies you must implement in 2021 (and beyond). Doing so safeguards your data assets plus your profits, customer trust, and brand reputation.
If you haven’t heard of continuous security validation yet, contact absolutely-reliable cybersecurity vendors and learn how to apply it in your company. Do that before cybercriminals get to your systems’ vulnerabilities first and steal your assets. Trust me, investing in this method will be worth every penny.