cybersecurity assessment Organizations invest a significant amount of time, money and effort to cybersecurity, hoping to block attacks and avoid making headlines as the next big data breach victim. Following established principles and cybersecurity best practices will ostensibly help you detect and avoid attacks—but the challenge for companies is how to effectively verify whether the security in place is sufficient to stop a real-world attack.
The best way for an organization to test its security posture is to conduct purple team exercises—assessments that attempt to break in and compromise the network to determine how effective the current security tools and processes are, and to identify any weaknesses that should be addressed. This is often done using tools that simulate common data breach tools and techniques, but Spirent recently unveiled a new tool that elevates the game from simulation to data breach emulation.
Why Emulation is Better than Simulation
You might be asking yourself, “What’s the difference between emulation and simulation?” That’s a fair question, and the distinction between the two is a primary benefit of the CyberFlood Data Breach Assessment solution from Spirent.
According to Dictionary.com, simulation is defined as “imitation or enactment, as of something anticipated or in testing.” Emulation, on the other hand, is a reproduction of the exact scenario, such that it is a recreation or replicate and indistinguishable from the original.
Tools that rely on data breach simulation use replayed traffic and network activity and artificial artifacts. In theory, that should be enough to see how the existing security infrastructure responds and whether or not it is working as expected. However, many security products are intelligent enough to recognize fake traffic and activity and will automatically discount or ignore simulated attacks—either treating them as phony, non-malicious traffic and allowing the traffic to pass through or blocking the activity as invalid network streams. Either way, it doesn’t provide an authentic or accurate view of how the security infrastructure will respond to a real attack.