How To Implement Continuous Security Validation? – Of all of the methods that cybersecurity experts use to prevent breaches, one system is typically more effective than all others. While certain tools might initially come to mind, this system actually comes back to being prepared, with a proactive approach helping you to protect from threats before they even arise.
Security experts can spend days building up defenses, securing ports, and neutralizing points of entry from old user accounts. Yet, without a system in place that allows them to monitor, assess, and proactively attend to security issues, there is still going to be room for hackers to enter your systems.
We can see this in reality by turning to the data. Back in 2019, a total of $3 trillion USD were lost due to cloud misconfiguration. When companies moved toward cloud software, their lack of experience left a number of vulnerabilities directly open for attackers. If there was a continuous security validation process in place, this would never have happened.
In this article, we’ll dive into the process of security validation, demonstrating how companies should go about implementing preventative cybersecurity practices into their business.
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What Are the Benefits of Continuous Security Validation?
Continuously validating whether distinct parts of your security architecture are working will ensure that you find vulnerabilities long before any hacker does. You’ll be monitoring your systems, checking for errors, misconfigurations, and vulnerabilities, and then fixing them as you find new ones.
Most of the time, continuous security validation is split into two core areas: red teaming and breach and attack simulation. Over recent years, these two practices have become increasingly automated, allowing businesses to extract benefits from them around the clock.
By engaging with continuous security validation, businesses are able to move through various points of the MITRE ATT&CK Framework and improve their cybersecurity systems in a number of ways:
- Constant Validation – Security validation allows businesses to test security controls across their entire attack surface. This allows them to check and recheck the current security posture of a company, improving where it needs strengthening and checking whether it could withhold against the mounting threats.
- Compliance Frameworks – Most continuous security validation tools are automated. By doing this, businesses are able to achieve the standard that regulatory bodies set out in terms of defending the data that they hold. CSV allows businesses to take a smarter approach to security and compliance.
- Detect Attacks – Being able to monitor systems and then output a health report will help your experts notice if anything is going wrong or if is currently facing a threat. This will, in turn, help to increase reaction speeds when a cybersecurity event is triggered, ensuring your business does better in these situations and prevents breaches.
Continuous security validation is now standard practice for the world’s leading platforms. If you’re not already using this tactic, it’s time to get started.
How To Integrate Continuous Security Validation
While continuous security validation will help to cover all angles of your attack surface, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution that every company will use similarly. Depending on the number of employees that a company has, the complexity of their business, and the degree to which they utilize the cloud, applications, and web portals, the specific focus that they should hold closest will vary.
That said, there are a few core areas where businesses can start to improve in order to make continuous security validation a key part of their approach to security.
- Adopt an Automatic Password Change System
- Check User Hierarchies and Monitor Accounts
- Make Security a Cultural Movement
Let’s break these down further.
Adopt an Automatic Password Change System
While most people think of the software side when it comes to continuous validation, this isn’t the only area where your business is going to see attacks. Around 82% of all security events involve a human element, meaning this is an area you have to focus on if you want comprehensive security coverage.
By creating a policy that makes users change their passwords every few months, you will be able to continually refresh your users’ systems, ensuring that hackers are limited in their pursuit of specific accounts.
Accounts that do not change their password can be flagged, providing your security team with a list of users that can then be checked against the list of active employees.
Check User Hierarchies and Monitor Accounts
When a user accidentally gives away their account details, via phishing or any other method that hackers are currently using, they put all of their connected platforms and data at risk. The best way of limiting what’s at risk from user mistakes is to ensure that you have hierarchy limits on your systems.
When integrating CSV, be sure to outline that it will be used to check the current access that user accounts are given. This will inspire your teams to be more careful with what accounts they share private documents to and what data each account has direct access to.
Test Other Defenses
With a CSV system, you’ll be able to put all of the other cybersecurity defenses that you have in your roster to the test. For example, you could test your firewalls against attacks, making sure that all of your configurations are done correctly.
Especially when working with newer security tools, doing this early will ensure that your business is always as protected as possible from attacks. If you have a list of configuration standards already published internally, you can automate your CSV tool to check all of your current tools against these configurations.
Continuous security validation is currently a world-class method of improving the general cybersecurity health of your business. Instead of doubling down into one specific area, CSV allows a business to monitor the holistic health of its system, prioritizing patches and fixes where they are needed.
For security experts that are spread thin with the expanding size of modern attack surfaces, a stable, secure, and comprehensive continuous security validation policy and approach will help to radically increase their control over your company’s security.