Breach and Attack Simulation 101 Guide

Crack open the textbooks with our 101 Guide to Breach and Attack Simulation. Learn the ins and outs of BAS, starting from the very basics, and graduating to how it can enable you to implement a threat informed defense.

What is Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS)?

Over the last decade, cybersecurity spending has increased to over $100 billion per annum globally. Yet adversaries continue to break past organizational cyberdefenses. Breach and attack simulation capabilities emulate adversary behaviors to test and validate that your cyberdefenses work as intended. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) have taken note.

As a proven way to improve cybersecurity effectiveness, Gartner calls BAS a “Top Security and Risk Management Trend”.


Security leaders see the significant benefits that BAS capabilities bring to a business. The industry analyst firm Gartner recently included BAS in its “Top Security and Risk Management Trends of 2021,” and as Gartner notes, “Breach and attack simulation (BAS) tools are emerging to provide continuous defensive posture assessments, challenging the limited visibility provided by annual point assessments like penetration testing. When CISOs include BAS as a part of their regular security assessments, they can help their teams identify gaps in their security posture more effectively and prioritize security initiatives more efficiently.” Learn more about how to deploy BAS tools and leverage MITRE ATT&CK to achieve your security objectives.

Measuring and Managing Cybersecurity Effectiveness

Security controls fail constantly. Automated breach and attack testing allows you to measure and manage cybersecurity effectiveness and improve your security operations. BAS platforms are best put to use by validating that your security controls work as intended and at scale.

Breach and attack simulation platforms are best deployed as a strategic tool to help senior leaders improve business outcomes and make the most of scarce financial and personnel resources.  From the first phases of automated security control validation to enabling military exercises to training analysts to improving compliance effectiveness to assessing the best security vendor, AttackIQ has identified 26 unique use cases for its Security Optimization Platform. See how you can use AttackIQ to generate better insights about your security program performance to power better decisions and real security outcomes.

Uniting Threat and Risk Management

As a top trend in security and risk management, BAS capabilities help security leaders validate their compliance and risk management framework effectiveness by focusing the security team not just on ticking the box of regulations, but on validating that security controls actually perform as they should against known threats.

This is the benefit of aligning risk management frameworks like NIST 800-53 or DoD CMMC or any regulatory standard against the known threat behaviors in the MITRE ATT&CK framework. By testing your compliance mandated security controls against known threats, you can validate compliance effectiveness against a baseline and use real performance data to prove to auditors and regulators that you are meeting their specifications.