The global penetration testing market is projected to hit $4.5 billion by 2025, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 21.8% from its size in 2020 ($1.7 billion). The main driving factor for this growth is enterprises implementing security measures because cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and predominant.

The MITRE ATT&CK framework is a measure that is increasing in popularity among penetration testing teams. Recently, MITRE Engenuity published the first-ever ATT&CK evaluations for ICS (Industrial Control Systems), which focused on techniques related to notorious threat groups, particularly Carbanak and FIN7. 

But why do MITRE evaluations hold this importance, and how can you use this framework to assist in audits that can help you cover security gaps in your enterprise IT network? 

Understanding MITRE ATT&CK Framework and Matrices

The ATT&CK framework (i.e., Adversarial Tactics, Techniques & Common Knowledge) was introduced by MITRE in 2013. It helps organizations describe and categorize adversarial behaviours as per real-world observations. It is a structured list of known attacker behaviours compiled into multiple tactics and techniques expressed in the form of matrices. 

The MITRE ATT&CK framework is a comprehensive representation of behaviours attackers often employ to compromise networks, making it very useful for various offensive and defensive representations and measurements.

Each MITRE ATT&CK matrix contains techniques corresponding to the subject matter of that matrix. These matrices are: 

  1. Enterprise: It consists of techniques and tactics that attackers apply to Linux, Windows, and/or macOS systems.
  2. Mobile: It contains tactics and techniques generally leveraged to attack mobile devices.
  3. PRE-ATT&CK: It has all tactics and techniques that attackers generally use to help them decide what actions they will need before exploiting a network.

Why Do You Need MITRE ATT&CK Framework?

ATT&CK offers a lot of value in everyday settings. For instance, any defensive activity referencing attackers and their behaviours can benefit from ATT&CK’s taxonomy. It not only offers a common lexicon for cyber defenders, but it also helps you lay a strong foundation for penetration testing and red teaming. It brings defenders and red teamers on the same page with a common language when referring to adversarial behaviours. You can use ATT&CK’s taxonomy for: 

  • Mapping Defensive Controls and Threat Hunting

When referenced against the ATT&CK tactics and techniques, defensive controls may have well-understood meaning for them. Mapping defences to ATT&CK also help you create a roadmap of defensive gaps and provides threat hunters, i.e., the perfect places where you can identify missed attacker activities.

  • Sharing

MITRE ATT&CK framework helps the defenders ensure common understanding when sharing information about defensive controls or an attack, actor, or group.

  • Detections and Investigations

Your Security Operations Center (SOC) and incident response team can use detected or uncovered ATT&CK techniques and tactics to understand where defensive strengths and weaknesses exist. You can also use it to validate mitigation and detection controls while uncovering misconfigurations and other operational issues.

  • Tool Integrations and Referencing Actors

You can use ATT&CK tactics and techniques to standardize disparate tools and services, lending cohesiveness to an often-lacking defence. It also helps in referencing actors, especially those associated with specific, definable behaviours.

Finding a Penetration Tester Provider That Uses the MITRE ATT&CK Framework

Penetration testing services play an important role in securing your enterprise network since they help you evaluate the security of your IT systems by simulating actual cyber-attacks. When conducting penetration testing, the provider deliberately tries to break into your systems, devices and data. When choosing a penetration testing partner, we recommend selecting one that uses the MITRE ATT&CK framework.

If you’re looking for a penetration testing provider with expertise in the MITRE ATT&CK framework, Packetlabs is a perfect choice. We extensively use this framework for penetration testing and purple teaming. To ensure that you get nothing but top-notch quality: 

  • All of our testers have a minimum 24-hour OSCP certification.
  • Each member has completed the most advanced training available. 
  • Our penetration testing services, using the MITRE ATT&CK framework, begin with the latest tools and technologies.
  • Our testing attempts to break into the security of corporate networks, even those guarded by the most efficient security controls.

So, if you need a skilled, experienced penetration testing partner for your organization, review our objective-based penetration testing services for more details, or get in touch with us.