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Organizations spend millions of dollars on tools and personnel to defend their valuable data, intellectual property and reputation. However, most cybersecurity leaders don’t always know how well their teams or tools are working. Even if organizations hire the most qualified people and use best-in-class tools, it may not be enough to effectively defend their network. To be properly prepared, cybersecurity practitioners need to hone their team skills and assess tools under the most realistic conditions – which requires a high-fidelity cyber range using user emulation. 

Why user emulation?

Using a cyber range is a great way to practice defending against advanced threats in a secure, isolated simulation. Not all ranges, however, offer the fidelity needed to truly represent your security and compliance posture. That’s why user emulation capabilities should be a key component of an advanced, high-fidelity range. 

User emulation refers to the computer-generated users that reproduce authentic network traffic by interacting with each other and dynamic content, in the same manner as an actual user. This includes sending and receiving emails, browsing the web and using office applications and social media.

Cyber training using a high-fidelity environment employing user emulation is imperative for organizations trying to up-level cybersecurity training by teaching response techniques to real-world attacks. That’s because threat actors, including malicious insiders, often use routine network traffic to disguise their activity. 

Strengthening your cyber defenses

There are multiple ways your security program can benefit from adding realism to cyber range deployments. For instance, including user emulation in a team training exercise adds background noise to the blue team’s log, promoting their ability to distinguish between malicious and normal activities. The same applies to technology evaluation and security-stack tuning and optimization, as user activity impacts the performance of network detection, SIEM and endpoint protection tools. User emulation also prepares security to detect and defend against insider threats, which involve privileged users abusing their access to company data and systems. In any scenario, fast detection is critical, because the sooner you can detect malicious activity, the less likely you are to suffer serious data loss or regulatory and financial damages.

How SimSpace helps

SimSpace User Emulation White Paper CoverSimSpace is the only platform that provides cyber ranges with user emulation. Our flexible, customizable range deployments allow you to emulate specific user personas that represent different shifts and job responsibilities. Whether you’re using our team training or technology optimization products, you can apply user emulation to conduct accurate assessments. With your people, processes, and technology functioning at peak performance, you’ll be more equipped to identify and respond to cyber threats. 

How would your organization benefit from adding a high-fidelity range to your cybersecurity training program? To learn more about how to select the right platform to help reduce security and compliance risk, read our white paper, Improving Realism in Cyber Ranges with User Emulation. Or schedule a personalized demo of our platform here.

Blog byElsa Pikulik
Elsa Pikulik
Elsa Pikulik
Elsa Pikulik is a Product Marketing Manager at SimSpace Corporation where she creates and contributes to a variety of product-focused marketing collateral. Before SimSpace she worked as a researcher at Forrester. Elsa holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.