Continuous security for agility and peace of mind

by Black Hat Middle East and Africa
Continuous security for agility and peace of mind

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Weekly insights and exclusive interviews from Black Hat MEA’s community of cybersecurity experts and thought leaders. 

This week we’re focused on…

The importance of continuous security to help an organisation stay ahead of threats, act on vulnerabilities, and enable peace of mind for all stakeholders. 


Because when we interviewed Imran Parray (Founder and CEO at Snapsec) for the BHMEA blog, we asked him how he sees the relationship between pen testing and continuous security

He said: 

“Penetration testing is a security exercise that allows companies to simulate different attacks on their critical systems to see if they can withstand these attacks. It's like a controlled, strategic way to find and fix vulnerabilities before real attackers can exploit them.”

“Continuous security, on the other hand, involves performing various security operations on an ongoing basis. It takes a more holistic approach, addressing all aspects of your company's security, including exposed infrastructure, personnel, and critical applications.”

Continuous security means ongoing monitoring

A continuous security system is, essentially, a system for monitoring your network on an ongoing basis – surveying for vulnerabilities, monitoring the efficacy of security controls, and maintaining visibility over the protection of all data and systems within your network. 

It’s a process put in place to identify potential issues before a breach happens, and patch vulnerabilities proactively. An organisation’s process can include a range of techniques, including (but not limited to) risk-based vulnerability management; external attack surface management; and cyber threat intelligence management. 

Continuous monitoring is essential in order for an organisation to have a strong cybersecurity posture. New vulnerabilities crop up all the time, with any modification or update of software or use process having the potential to lead to a new weakness. And without continuous monitoring, those vulnerabilities can fly under the radar. 

Continuous monitoring also helps you stay compliant with any frameworks or third-party policies you’re committed to. An effective continuous monitoring process can pick up on compliance chances or fallouts so they can be addressed quickly. 

AI and automation tools are improving continuous monitoring systems

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation means that today’s continuous monitoring systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated. 

AI systems can learn from ongoing activities and adapt quickly to changes in the security environment. Over time, AI can adapt its understanding of what it deems ‘normal behaviour’ within a system, and what it flags as a behavioural anomaly – so continuous monitoring can continue to be effective throughout periods of user behavioural change or when new systems and tools are implemented across a network. 

It’s important to note, though, that there’s no single ‘set it and forget it’ monitoring system that can be left to do its thing for long periods of time without human input. Effective continuous monitoring systems must be managed, tested, and adapted by cybersecurity professionals to make sure they’re adequately assessing an organisation’s entire threat landscape.

What’s the relationship between penetration testing and continuous security?

“Both are essential and complement each other,” Parray said. 

“Pen testing provides a snapshot of your security posture at a given time, identifying specific weaknesses. Continuous security ensures that you maintain a strong security posture over time, addressing new vulnerabilities as they arise and adapting to changing threats. While pen testing alone can highlight vulnerabilities, without continuous security measures, those vulnerabilities can quickly reappear or new ones can emerge, leaving the company at risk.”

And that highlights the key reason why continuous security cannot be overlooked: vulnerabilities will never stop opening up, and malicious actors are becoming increasingly efficient at finding and exploiting them. 

So organisations have to stay ahead – with security models that provide protection and peace of mind. 

Is your organisation protected? 

If your organisation needs to level up its security posture, connect with leading providers and security researchers at Black Hat MEA 2024.

Do you have an idea for a topic you'd like us to cover? We're eager to hear it! Drop us a message and share your thoughts. Our next newsletter is scheduled for 19 June 2024.

Catch you next week,
Steve Durning
Exhibition Director

Join us at Black Hat MEA 2024 to grow your network, expand your knowledge, and build your business.

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