Trustwave SpiderLabs Exposes Unique Cybersecurity Threats in the Public Sector. Learn More

Trustwave SpiderLabs Exposes Unique Cybersecurity Threats in the Public Sector. Learn More

Managed Detection & Response

Eliminate active threats with 24/7 threat detection, investigation, and response.

Co-Managed SOC (SIEM)

Maximize your SIEM investment, stop alert fatigue, and enhance your team with hybrid security operations support.

Advisory & Diagnostics

Advance your cybersecurity program and get expert guidance where you need it most.

Penetration Testing

Test your physical locations and IT infrastructure to shore up weaknesses before exploitation.

Database Security

Prevent unauthorized access and exceed compliance requirements.

Email Security

Stop email threats others miss and secure your organization against the #1 ransomware attack vector.

Digital Forensics & Incident Response

Prepare for the inevitable with 24/7 global breach response in-region and available on-site.

Firewall & Technology Management

Mitigate risk of a cyberattack with 24/7 incident and health monitoring and the latest threat intelligence.

Offensive Security
Solutions to maximize your security ROI
Microsoft Exchange Server Attacks
Stay protected against emerging threats
Rapidly Secure New Environments
Security for rapid response situations
Securing the Cloud
Safely navigate and stay protected
Securing the IoT Landscape
Test, monitor and secure network objects
Why Trustwave
About Us
Awards and Accolades
Trustwave SpiderLabs Team
Trustwave Fusion Security Operations Platform
Trustwave Security Colony
Technology Alliance Partners
Key alliances who align and support our ecosystem of security offerings
Trustwave PartnerOne Program
Join forces with Trustwave to protect against the most advance cybersecurity threats

7-Step Guide to Properly Scoping an Offensive Security Program

Offensive security has become a cornerstone strategy for organizations aiming to fortify their defenses against cyber threats. However, before one creates a suitably developed offensive security program, an organization must ensure it is properly scoped. This will ensure the final product is effective, efficient, and aligned with the organization's overall security objectives.

Here's a guide to help organizations understand and implement a well-scoped offensive security program.


Understanding Offensive Security

Offensive security is a proactive approach to cybersecurity where potential attackers' tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) are emulated to identify and remediate vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. It's not about attacking; it's about testing defenses in a controlled manner to strengthen the security posture generally through the use of penetration tests and Red Team exercises.


The Importance of Scoping

Scoping is the process of defining the boundaries and objectives of an offensive security program. A well-defined scope ensures that security teams effectively test all critical assets and allocate resources. Without proper scoping, there is the risk of missing out on critical vulnerabilities or wasting resources on low-impact areas.

An effective offensive security strategy involves thorough evaluations by seasoned security professionals who perform penetration testing on the software and infrastructure. These specialists proactively seek out and attempt to exploit system weaknesses, emulating the actions of potential attackers.

Automated scanners are adept at detecting standard vulnerabilities; however, uncovering the most severe security flaws often proves challenging. This task necessitates the intervention of experts who possess not only a deep understanding of the relevant technologies and programming languages but also a proficiency in the methods attackers employ to compromise these systems and their components.


7 Steps to Scope An Offensive Security Program

1. Identify Assets: Begin by creating a comprehensive inventory of the digital assets at hand. This step includes primary, subsidiary domains, third-party services, and external-facing endpoints that could be potential targets.

2. Define Objectives: Clearly outline the goal for the offensive security program. Is it to identify vulnerabilities, test incident response capabilities, or improve security awareness within the organization? These objectives will guide the scope of the program.

3. Assess Threat Landscape: Understand the specific threats the organization faces. This involves researching the TTPs of threat actors relevant to the organization's industry and tailoring the offensive security program to simulate these threats.

4. Determine the Scope of Testing: Decide on the extent of testing based on the preset objectives and threat assessment. This decision may range from full-scale red team exercises to targeted penetration tests on critical systems.

5. Engage the Right Personnel: Ensure the offensive security team includes the right mix of skills and expertise. This includes ethical hackers, security analysts, and incident responders who can effectively carry out the scoped activities.

6. Plan the Exercises: Develop a schedule for the offensive security exercises. Regular testing is key to keeping up with the evolving threat landscape and ensuring continuous improvement of the organization’s security posture.

7. Review and Adjust: After each exercise, review the findings and adjust the scope, as necessary. This iterative process helps refine the program and ensure it remains relevant and effective.


Final Takeaway

Scoping an offensive security program is a critical step that should not be overlooked. By following these steps, one can ensure that the program is targeted, comprehensive, and aligned with the stated security goals. Remember, the goal of offensive security is not just to find vulnerabilities but to enhance the overall security posture and readiness against cyber threats.

Offensive_SecurityLearn more about Trustwave's tailored Offensive Security programs.


Latest Trustwave Blogs

Using Trustwave DbProtect and Offensive Security Solutions to Protect Against Nation-State Cyber Threats

The US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) earlier this month gave a stark warning to the Senate Armed Services Committee detailing the cyberthreats arrayed against the US and the world from...

Read More

Defending the Energy Sector Against Cyber Threats: Insights from Trustwave SpiderLabs

It has always been clear, even before the Colonial Pipeline attack, that the energy sector is a prime target for not only criminal threat groups, but also nation-state actors. After all, halting fuel...

Read More

Trustwave SpiderLabs Unveils the 2024 Public Sector Threat Landscape Report

Trustwave SpiderLabs’ latest report, the 2024 Public Sector Threat Landscape: Trustwave Threat Intelligence Briefing and Mitigation Strategies details the security issues facing public sector...

Read More