The Five Ws of Great Cybersecurity: How to Deter Data Breaches and Add Value Across Your Organization

Every CISO wants the peace of mind that comes with having full faith in your security posture. The icing on this cake? Having the ability to easily and powerfully justify this feeling of confidence to board members.

Unfortunately, the above scenario seems like an out-of-reach fantasy for too many IT leaders, who find themselves besieged on multiple sides by rising complexity, siloed teams, dedicated attackers, and uncomprehending colleagues.

There is, however, a path forward.

I can walk you through it using the “Five Ws”: Who, what, why, where, and when.

Who Are We?

Founded in 2016, XM Cyber is the market’s leading provider of attack path management.

A key point of differentiation for XM Cyber is our backstory. Our founders come from the highest levels of the Israeli security service. This lineage means that XM Cyber brings a unique set of skills and perspectives to the table, particularly with regard to white hat hacking, something that is reflected in our products.

When it was time for our founders to leave the security service for civilian life, they believed that the domain expertise they had acquired would help them protect the private sector by building patented technologies and tools that offered nation-state-level cybersecurity capabilities for corporations.

In just three years, that vision has been realized. XM Cyber client list includes leading global companies across almost every vertical. We’ve been named a Gartner Cool Vendor Award and we are ISO 27001 certified.

What Are the Problems We Solve?

When engaging with CISOs and security teams we hear the same challenges, time and again: The scale and complexity of hybrid environments make strong defense a near-impossibility, and a lack of visibility across all environments has become frighteningly common.

And that’s only the beginning.

  • Organizations are swimming in point products and technologies, many of which lack the context of what they are trying to defend, do not mesh well and sadly all too often are not properly onboarded so their value is never fully realized.
  • Teams, meanwhile, are working in silos, making consistency of approach and communication difficult.
  • VM teams are drowning in to-do lists and often don’t have the necessary context to determine the best way to prioritize patching.
  • The audit and compliance mindset lends itself to a box-ticking approach to security. However, being rigidly guided by to-do lists is often the fastest way to fail. Hackers think in attack graphs, not lists.

All of this ultimately means Business leaders are struggling to understand the most pressing risks to their critical assets.

Where Are These Problems Occurring?

For an attacker, complexity and disorganization is a dream scenario. Cybersecurity is already an asymmetrical battle — a hacker with enough skill, time and motivation can keep chipping away for months or years. The hacker only needs you to make a single mistake. You have to be perfect.

This means that the idea of perfect security is a fantasy, as long as humans remain fallible. Adversaries, however, like to save time and effort as much as anyone else, so they will often seek weak targets.

They want to find the soft spots where you are most vulnerable: open firewall ports, over-permissioned credentials and misconfigurations that make it easy to breach, move laterally and exfiltrate business-critical assets.

To develop a posture resilient enough to deter attackers, you need a solution that allows you to maintain visibility across multiple dynamic and highly complex environments.

Why Choose XM Cyber?

Our technology gives organizations access to an element that is key to a strong security posture, yet is also frequently missing or ignored. I’m talking about the adversary’s perspective.

XM Cyber provides continuous and safe attack simulation across your hybrid environments. Our technology also includes the key, attack-centric risk context that is crucial for prioritizing remediation and reducing the attack surface.

Another area where XM Cyber shines: Providing powerful, quantifiable evidence of ROI to boards. CISOs sometimes struggle to convey the value of the tools and approaches they are using to colleagues with less technical savvy. Relying on Excel and the power of persuasion is simply not an effective method.

XM Cyber offers a true risk-based view of where you need to focus on protecting critical assets — and the steps that you need to immediately take.

Our technology also integrates into the wider operation and technology ecosystem, boosting the value of existing tools.

Our approach begins with the assumption of a breach position within an organization. This is not an indictment of existing security, but an acknowledgment that determined hackers will eventually find a way in (as demonstrated by the Solarwinds hack).  XM Cyber technology then creates continuous attack simulations, identifying the gaps that jeopardize business-sensitive assets and providing a unified view of the entire network.

Gaining visibility into the attack paths that exist between on-prem and cloud/multi-cloud environments becomes easy.

All of this is supported by a graphical interface that displays the full kill chain and step-by-step methodologies for all attacks, and a dashboard that allows fine-grained insight into the most pressing risks and how adversaries are likely to behave.

When Should I Deploy XM Cyber?

As soon as possible.

XM Cyber technology is quick to deploy and begins generating ROI almost at once. Within an hour or two, key vulnerabilities can be uncovered and mitigations/remediations can begin.

How effective is XM Cyber technology once deployed? While working with a leading port in Europe, we were able to demonstrate that we could compromise 93% of their assets on day one. A few months later, following our recommendations, that number dropped to just 7%.

The Takeaway

There is no silver bullet solution for cybersecurity. Yet XM Cyber’s attack-centric approach provides crucial context and significantly enhances the power of your existing tools. In other words, we provide the missing ingredient (the attacker perspective) that is so important for a highly resilient security posture — allowing you to get maximum value and utility out of the resources at your disposal.

By Caroline Paddle, Northern Europe Sales Director, XM Cyber