Improve Security Effectiveness and Efficiency by Validating Security Tools
With new threats and hostile entities sprouting every day, are your security tools and controls equipped to handle the new threats? What if you find out after an attack that your application security tools too have vulnerabilities and gaps that attackers could easily leverage? It would bring significant financial loss, disrepute, and customer attrition to the organization. It is, thus, imperative to find a quantifiable metric to gauge the effectiveness of your security tools and controls and identify the weakest links in your security strategy. This is where security validation comes in.
Read on to find out more.
Common Misconceptions About Security Tools
Organizations deploy a wide range of security controls and defenses, ranging from web application scanning tools, access controls, authorization, and authentication to firewalls, anti-malware, WAF, penetration testing, perimeter monitoring, and so on.
One of the biggest assumptions that organizations often tend to make is that these application security tools always work as promised; deploying them is enough to keep the organization protected against threats. This, however, does not always hold. Even deploying the best application security assessment tools and security technology can falter.
Here are some examples.
- They could be deployed incorrectly.
- The different teams in your organization may not be using them properly.
- They may not be regularly updated and/or patched.
- The tools may not be augmented with the latest global threat intelligence.
- The rules on which the tools are built may not be tailored to the context and risk profile of the organization.
- The tools could be built using open source and/or third-party code/components. If the third party has questionable security, your web application security tools may have vulnerabilities and weaknesses too.
Research suggests that 53% of attacks successfully breached the organization’s digital infrastructure without their knowledge. Of the remaining 47% unsuccessful attempts, only 25% were detected.
Only in 9% of cases were alerts sent to security teams. Additionally, only 4% of reconnaissance activities generated alerts to security teams. This points to the severe lack of visibility into security effectiveness. Adding to this, organizations use a wide range of complex security defenses which may further reduce the visibility.
The other big assumption is that attackers target only larger corporations and not SMEs. 54% of small businesses think they are too small to be targeted by attackers. So, SMEs either do not need security defenses or that simply deploying a few tools would ensure continuous security effectiveness and efficiency.
Data suggests otherwise! 43% of attacks are targeted at SMEs. 60% of small businesses shut down within 6 months of being attacked.
Owing to these assumptions, organizations often tend to miss threats that matter. They go about business with a false sense of security and the level of protection which makes them easy targets for attackers. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct continuous validation of all security tools.
What is Security Validation? How Does it Improve Security Effectiveness and Efficiency?
Security validation of tools enables organizations to quantifiably ensure that their security defenses, programs, and systems are valid, operative, effective, and efficient in the fast-evolving threat landscape.
By simulating real-world cyberattacks under secure conditions, security validation empowers organizations to find any overlooked vulnerabilities in the existing security tools and defenses. It helps organizations effectively gauge gaps and weaknesses in the security defenses and programs. These validation tests help organizations improve their security posture by acting and thinking like threat actors.
Modern-day security validation goes beyond compliance testing and checking configuration settings. It involves attack simulations (under secure conditions), data-driven assessments, and evidence-based tests, among others to validate application security assessment tools and other security controls. False-positive reporting, security audits, incidence response volumes, etc. are some of the methods used in security validations.
Security validation helps improve security effectiveness and efficiency in the following ways:
- Identify weakest links in security defenses and improve cyber-resilience.
- Quantifiable evidence of whether security tools/ defenses can be breached.
- Infuse quality assurance into security practices.
- Ensure reliability of security controls while also detecting compliance issues.
- Understand the risks facing the organization.
- Develop a robust threat model for the organization that focuses on the high-priority risks and mission-critical assets.
With a fast-evolving threat landscape, increasing sophistication of attacks, and threat actors constantly looking for weaknesses in the networks, no organization should feel fully secure. You must ensure that the web application security tools and controls are securing your application consistently and efficiently.
Continuous security validation ensures that security defense tools do not become shelfware over time. Validation of security tools, empowers organizations to think and act like threat actors, find weaknesses in the security defenses, and improve security effectiveness and efficiency.
To get started with the security validation of your application security tools, get in touch with security experts like Indusface.