Gartner Research

Utilizing Breach and Attack Simulation Tools to Test and Improve Security


Security testing is so challenging for technical professionals focused on security operations that many don't try it. Breach and attack simulation tools help make security postures more consistent and automated. Gartner has evaluated these tools to provide guidance for implementation and operation.

Published: 17 May 2018

ID: G00349154

Analyst(s): Augusto Barros Anton Chuvakin

Table Of Contents


  • What Are BAS Tools
    • Simulation or Execution?
    • Security Measures Tested by BAS Tools
    • A Key Question: BAS Versus Penetration Testing
  • The Role of BAS in Security Testing and Assessment
  • Build Your Business Case Using BAS Adoption Drivers
  • Observed BAS Use Cases
    • Control Effectiveness Measurement
    • Enhanced Penetration Testing and Red Team Operation
    • Security Purchase Improvement
    • Reporting and Prioritizing Security Controls
    • Proof of Controls and Compliance
  • BAS Technology in Depth
    • Basic BAS Tool Functionality
    • BAS Testing Methods
    • Example BAS Deployment Architecture
    • Complete BAS Test Example
    • Critical: Dealing With Test Results
  • BAS Vendors and Open-Source Alternatives
    • Related Open-Source Efforts and Frameworks
  • The Future of BAS tools
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Planning for BAS
    • Include BAS in Your Security Testing Program
    • Consider BAS After Security Architecture Build-out
    • Gather Prerequisite Data and Plan Ahead
  • BAS Selection
    • Review BAS Tools Capabilities With the Need in Mind
    • Find Testing Use Cases, Then Select BAS Tools to Match Them
    • Use the MITRE ATT&CK Framework to Compare BAS Coverage
    • Test BAS for Safety Before Deployment
  • BAS Deployment
    • Based on the Use Case, Deploy Network Components or Agents First
    • Watch for Technology and Process Disruptions
    • Whitelist BAS as Needed — But Not More
  • BAS Operations and Dealing With Findings
    • Define Prioritization Criteria Early
    • Update or Refresh Risk and Threat Assessment to Drive BAS Finding Prioritization
    • Integrate BAS Into Security Operations Processes
    • Escalate Few BAS Findings as Organizational Risks
    • Find Your Test Frequency
    • Evolve to Link BAS With Your SIEM and SOAR

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