Why and How to Hire Bots to Attack Your Networks

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One of the principal elements of DevOps is automation. Any routine or repeatable task that can be automated, should be. Automation ensures consistency in those routine tasks and frees up personnel to focus on more important things. Yet, although more than 40 percent of software testing is now automated, most security-related application software testing is still performed manually at runtime and are not part of the entire software development workflow. Security and compliance are an afterthought rather than an active part of the development lifecycle. 

Before the digital revolution, security was a manual and reactive function: When something broke, work halted, and IT experts looked into the problem and fixed it.In today’s world, a reactive approach means you’ll be left in the dust—that is, it’s no longer before the digital revolution.

For example, a good breach and attack simulation platform should automatically deploy scenarios to painstakingly probe, assess, and validate a company’s cyber defense capabilities. Today the breach and attack simulation market is a burgeoning, innovative space with a handful of solutions, a few leaders, and competitive pricing for both on-premises and software-as-a-service deployments.

Automated security testing sharpens organizational defenses and capabilities in a way that manual testing cannot do at sufficient scale. In support of red, blue, and white teams, a testing platform can discover misconfigurations, reveal operator errors, and identify gaps in your defenses.

One of the most effective ways to simulate thousands of attacks and verify site security against multiple different scenarios is to use headless browsers.

For instance, we can use a headless browser service to verify validity of a site SSL certificates on a daily basis to ensure its not vulnerable to SSL attacks and setup an alert system in case there is any vulnerability detected.

The same method can also be used to simulate more sophisticated attacks and warn us of any security holes in the system. 

Essentially we can replay what a real hacker would do and then multiply that by millions to test the resiliency of our systems and infrastructures.

Without continuous, automated testing using headless browsers, sites will remain vulnerable to cyberattacks, their security programs failing silently due to misconfiguration or team performance. With an automated platform, they can improve security postures by focusing people, processes, and security technologies on the threats that matter most.

The reluctance to trust automated processes makes sense on some level. Security is crucial, and it’s hard to trust something as important as security to an automated test. The simple fact, however, is that automated testing is conducted more consistently and frequently and the results are typically much better overall security with significantly less manual effort.

There will still be issues that arise that require manual input or human intervention. Automated testing takes care of the 80 percent of tasks that are routine and repeatable, though, so that IT security professionals can focus on the 20 percent that cannot be properly managed or resolved through automated testing.

In the end, the organizations that embrace automated software testing using headless browsers will be more secure and have a strategic advantage over Luddite competitors that insist on doing things the old-fashioned way. 


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