Revolutionizing Cyber Attack Defense: How Your Organization Can Be Smarter than Cyber Criminals

The modern cybersecurity battleground is delivering a new level of challenges for commercial enterprises and governmental institutions. Both entities are discovering the process of protecting and securing their most critical assets has become more difficult and complex. This translates to higher financial costs, greater risk from serious national security threats and even the specter of devastating damage done to critical national infrastructure and/or human lives.

Cybercriminal groups and nation-state actors have a variety of advanced tools, techniques and procedures at the disposal to launch and execute effective attacks on potential targets. Most organizations are falling short in terms of preventing or blocking such attacks (the recent Garmin cyberattack offers one such example). Why? Because they lack critically important visibility of their attack surface and thus fail to understand how attackers are exploiting existing weaknesses to get inside the network and take down the most critical assets.

Why Are Enterprises Still Falling Short with Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is an asymmetrical battle. Attackers have all the advantages and pre-conditions for success. They can pick the right timing, the right target, the type of attack and, most importantly, they can keep it anonymized with deniability capability – something that is critical for nation-state actors.

Conversely, defenders are saddled with all the disadvantages. They must operate around the clock and satisfy the needs of the business; they must ensure there are no weaknesses and exposures that will allow attackers to break in; they need to monitor for anomalies and suspicious events 24/7, and be ready to respond to any attempt promptly.

In addition to these inherent disadvantages, security and IT teams are typically understaffed and often lack key skills and talent in the cybersecurity domain. Given this, poor results are not surprising.

Putting the Hackers Under the Spotlight

To effectively protect themselves, organizations must level the playing field by adopting the attackers’ perspective and gaining visibility into the techniques they will likely use to breach the network. Imagine a chess game where you already know your opponent’s next move, allowing you to protect your king by anticipating and blocking attack strategies with ease. That’s exactly what the XM Cyber platform offers – a sophisticated tool that allows them to go on offense by playing defense, seizing the initiative and leveling the playing field.

Predictive Analytics – The Next Generation of Cybersecurity Defense

The XM Cyber platform uses advanced predictive analytical algorithms to predict how an attacker will breach the network, identifying the multi-step attack vector towards organizational critical assets/crown jewels. The platform automatically detects risky user activity, IT misconfigurations, exploitable vulnerabilities and over-permissive privileges. Adversaries may exploit such issues by launching and attack and moving laterally, leveraging and exploiting all existing weaknesses to eventually take down the critical asset.

Visualize Your Modern Attack Surface  

The modern attack surface is expanding, and now includes remote users and workers, third-party connections, cloud instances, serverless computing and much more. Today, more than ever, the modern attack surface is highly sensitive to human errors and misconfigurations, which allows attackers to conduct successful breaches with ease (as in the case of the 2019 CapitalOne data breach, which was tied to a simple misconfiguration).

The XM Cyber platform offers an unprecedented visibility of the attack surface and all the attack vectors any attacker can facilitate and execute. It does this by using a unique offensive intelligence and deep understanding of the attack surface weaknesses that can be exploited.

Once the XM Cyber platform is deployed and the critical assets have been defined, the platform will continuously calculate all of the possible movements that attackers can do in the network, based on the contextual state of the network segmentation, IT hygiene level, user activity and existing vulnerabilities. This means that defenders, for the first time, has predictable visibility into how attackers can breach their network.

Remove the Risk – Effortlessly

Some people might claim that if you can patch all your vulnerabilities, harden all your systems and monitor any activity, you will be safe and protected. The truth is that this is an impossible scenario for any organization. There are constant flows of changes, misconfigurations and narrow maintenance and change management windows. This means that the Security and IT teams typically can only patch and harden about five-percent of what they actually need to do. So how do you pick and choose the right five-percent of fixes that will remove 95% of the risk?

The answer is XM Cyber.

The XM Cyber platform advises you on the remediations and mitigations you need to take and how these actions will reduce your overall risk. Moreover, by fixing specific points that attackers must navigate (called chokepoints or critical sections) you can eliminate the overall threat of the attack vector, dramatically reducing the effort required of IT teams to eliminate a very elevated risk.

Let Executives Understand Their True Level of Business Risk

For the first time, the XM platform makes it possible for organizations to visualize their cybersecurity risk level, showing risk over time and mitigation trends, and allowing the board of directors to understand the link between a security investment, actions and the risk level they are assuming. It also serves as a decision support system for multiple functions and teams in the organization; offering guidance on how to prioritize remediation activities; showing the relative importance of each step and illustrating how attackers could exploit changes in the network while detailing the possible risk impact.

Conclusions

XM Cyber was founded by former executives in the Israeli Intelligence community, people with deep knowledge of cyber offense. This unique knowledge was embedded into the platform, which is used by enterprises with the most complicated and demanding cybersecurity needs.

There is no parallel technology that can bring such a unique understanding of how attackers will exploit your network, while also demonstrating the remediations you need to take in order to remove the risk completely.

Uri Levy is Senior Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at XM Cyber