By Mike Rothman

We have been fans of testing the security of infrastructure and applications – at least as long as we have been researching security. As useful as it is for understanding which devices and applications are vulnerable, a simple scan provides limited information. Penetration tests are useful because they provide a sense of what is really at risk. But a pen test is resource-intensive and expensive – especially if you use an external testing firm. And the results characterize your environment at a single point in time. As soon as you blink your environment has changed, and the validity of your findings starts to degrade.

Do any of you honestly believe an unsophisticated attacker wielding a free penetration testing tool is all you have to worry about? Of course not. The key thing to understand about adversaries is: They don’t play by your rules. They will do whatever it takes to achieve their mission. They can usually be patient, and will wait for you to make a mistake. So the low bar of security represented by a penetration testing tool is not good enough.

A new approach to security infrastructure testing is now required. Our Dynamic Security Assessment paper offers an approach which offers:

  • A highly sophisticated simulation engine, which can imitate typical attack patterns from sophisticated adversaries without putting production infrastructure in danger.
  • An understanding of the local network topology, for modeling lateral movement and isolating targeted information and assets.
  • Access to a security research team to leverage both proprietary and public threat intelligence, and to model the latest and greatest attacks to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • An effective security analytics function to figure out not just what is exploitable, but also how different workarounds and fixes would impact infrastructure security.


We would like to thank SafeBreach for licensing this content. It’s the support of companies like SafeBreach, which license our content to educate their communities, which allows us to we write forward-looking research. As always, our research is performed using our Totally Transparent research methodology. This enables us to perform impactful research while protecting our integrity.

You can download the paper (PDF).