How to Threat Test Your Entire Organization

Research from Veeam’s 2022 Ransomware Trends Report found that when malicious actors attack an organization, 94% of backup time is targeted. Reliability is critical to reducing processing time and reducing risk. Restoring local backups is one of the many aspects of having a secure environment and bringing your organization one step closer to ultimate cyber readiness. We’ve already discussed creating a robust business process and disaster recovery plan, but this week we’ll learn more about threat testing examples and why your organization should start doing it.

Why is it important to test your system against threats?

You may be thinking – yes, my organization has policies and procedures in place to prevent cyber attacks and mitigate risk, so we’re all covered and ready to go. You are right and wrong: right in the sense that yes, these policies and procedures are important, but wrong that you are not all covered and ready to go.

A threat test is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a threat test for your organization to determine if any problems were missed or overlooked when creating your policy. Our VP of Cybersecurity likes to use an example when it comes to testing. As an owner, would you like your local fire department to run, maintain the truck, and respond to emergencies during their free time? Or would you feel comfortable relying on them to know how to react and put out the fire?

Now, let’s go over some examples of tests that your organization can conduct to determine any loose vulnerabilities.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is a cyber attack that is designed and authorized in a system or policy designed to verify the security of said system and policies. Penetration testing has gone from being a luxury for organizations to an important goal. Our experts advise your team to perform annual compliance testing, as new vulnerabilities are discovered and exploited all the time.

Tabletop Testing

In addition, companies can evaluate their current processes and conditions through benchtop testing. Table tests or exercises are internal tests, designed to help teams go through any potential cyber risk scenarios and identify potential vulnerabilities. They are intended to create a conversation within your IT department to determine the organization’s readiness. Let’s take the exercise on the table as an example. The purpose of the table exercise is

1. Include all relevant IT players
2. Adjust the position to suit your environment
3. Choose one facilitator for this exercise
4. Encourage discussion on how your organization can implement this model
5. Record your answers to the main questions
6. Develop a plan to address the gaps identified during the exercise.

Zippia reports that a cyber attack occurs once every 39 seconds. It’s not a question of whether your organization will succumb to an attack, but a question of when. Implementation of policies and procedures such as disaster recovery services, business continuity services, cyber security services, etc. is a good start. However, it is also important to test the strategies implemented to ensure that they adequately cover all the gaps in your organization.