The Tactical Chameleon: Safety Through Diverse Strategy

During the period of my expert career, I have already been fortunate good enough to be engaged in the development of video gaming and I still match current events and trends in the gaming industry. For most, video games certainly are a hobby but for myself, they are a lot more than that. Video gaming have given me ways to design conflict and there are lots of patterns we are able to borrow and connect with the way we technique cybersecurity. When this issue arises in academic circles, they’re quick to reach in to the field of research called Game Theory. Nevertheless, I have had hardly any fortune applying this orderly and logical model in real life. The truth is, production systems are usually messy, attackers don’t match categories nicely, and inside the fast-moving industry of cybersecurity, actually this week will need months or even years to attain learning institutions lots of what happened.

The opportunity to communicate tactics and strategies which are useful incompatible pre-dates the invention of Game Theory and I’m certain you have your group of favorite strategists which have served you very well running a business, cybersecurity, sports, along with other conflict-oriented environments.

I’m zero exception to the and in this specific article, We want to expose you to a popular of mine named Musashi Miyamoto. He has been the best samurai to stroll this world and in his old age ever, he wrote “The written book of Five Bands” where within he outlined his no-nonsense method of the creative art of combat. There are some patterns he describes that I really believe are essential to those folks racking your brains on how exactly to automate our systems in a manner that serves our businesses rather than our attackers.

The Tactical Chameleon

The martial arts certainly are a collection of types or moves which are rehearsed again and again. This repetition trains the physical body and your brain for fight where milliseconds of hesitation might mean defeat. Musashi placed plenty of value on being unsure of one form just, but every one of them. For Musashi, getting over-reliant upon an individual form was even worse than bad method. This process earned him a reputation because the “Tactical Chameleon” because he’d adjust to his opponents type and exploit the deterministic characteristics of these forms’ countermeasures.

Let’s have a brief moment for connecting this process to the gaming genre of fighting video games. Looking back to a few of the earliest video games in this genre like Road Fighter, each personality in the game includes a defined move-set which makes up a deterministic high quality of that character. Today aswell this still is true for fighting games. Competitive eSport players research every character, every shift, and learn every body by frame details to help provide them with a predictive benefit over their competitors.

Back to Musashi now. When dealing with an opponent on the trail, he’d at first not really know what type that opponent was been trained in therefore he would begin to exhibit a gesture like “Are you currently form B?” The true way his opponent would respond to his initial gesture would confirm or deny this. If yes, another course of action is always to respond with a countermeasure that has been exclusive to create B. By identifying the proper execution of his opponent, Musashi could exhibit a shift that would place his foe in a vulnerable place and allow him to execute a killing blow.

This same methodology is applied in eSports. At major fighting video game tournaments like the Development Championship Series (EVO), the very best competitors not merely know all of the outs and ins of the type they play, however they also know all of the matchups and movements against other characters right down to the frame level. This approach retains deterministic qualities that the players may use and defensively offensively.

The Musashi Method of Security Automation

One thing that I will explain in this analogy is definitely that in fighting online games, player A and gamer B both possess defensive and offensive capabilities. This is not the entire case with cybersecurity, where the conflict powerful is more comparable to participant A is mainly a defender and gamer B can be an attacker.

However, of this difference regardless, you may still find qualities we can study from Musashi and the fighting gaming genre which are useful within threat modeling safety automation.

Behavioral Modeling

At a simple level, you will see Musashi’s strategies like behaviors that either result in surviving the conflict or even not. Similarly, you can even consider the top gamers of eSports fighting video games as getting a dominant group of behaviors that earn tournaments and eventually championships.

As a defender, you’re attempting to model the behavioral areas of your attacker constantly. This occurs at both your attacker’s cognitive degree and also the mechanical degree (machine-scale). Both might exhibit deterministic characteristics which you can use for lead and recognition to defensive actions.

Being an attacker, threat actors are modeling your activity and identifying any behaviors that will assist them attain their desired outcome with the cheapest potential for detection at the cheapest cost of operations. If your adversary had been to get the knowledge of one’s runbooks or playbooks, how would that have fun with to their advantage with regards to evading achieving or even detected their goals?

With regards to behavioral modeling, we don&rsquo just; t discuss it whenever we assess our protection programs enough. We are still therefore stuck on nouns (items) when we want to be considering the verbs (behaviors). Any advanced group of technologies shall have a double use with the prospect of both great and evil. For instance, encryption keeps your clients’ communications private, nonetheless it keeps your adversaries command and control channels private as well also. The program distribution system you utilize for improvements across your enterprise could also be used as malware distribution by your adversary. In both illustrations, finished . (or noun) have not transformed, but (the verb) behavior has.

A Deterministic Method of Defense Could be a Vulnerability

Any deterministic quality could be a weakness for the defender or attacker. Because Musashi was a specialist in all forms, in a battle early, he would exhibit techniques that got deterministic responses from the martial arts form to be able to determine his opponents move-models. By viewing how his opponents reacted, then knew what the perfect dominant strategy had been to counter that type and defeat his adversary.

With battling games, the overall game itself holds the deterministic qualities. A particular character shall have movements that when a new player commits to a particular input sequence, they turn control to the game to perform that shift. During this time, the other participant shall know at the very least for another few microseconds, what the future keeps and must determine their following proceed to move the combat towards their benefit. Repetitive and static usage of automation will be like utilizing the same combos/patterns again and again in a game. It could work well against most of the opponents you face, if a foe understands the way the combo/pattern works and understands how it is utilized by you, they can accordingly countermand it.

Take a second to consider the next: What facet of your functions or automation techniques can a threat actor make use of against you?  As you can automate something for safety just, does not really mean you need to. Our systems have become a lot more automation rich once we shift from human-scale functions to machine-scale operations. It really is paramount that we learn how to automate rather than to the benefit of our attackers safely. Treating your infrastructure because code and applying the correct degree of threat and screening modeling isn’t optional.

Defense in Diversity

Security offers claimed that &ldquo always;Defense in Depth” is really a dominant strategy. Once we enter the global globe of automated workloads at internet-scale, it is becoming clear that it’s “Defense inside Diversity” that wins over depth. When coping with mechanized episodes, iteration on the same protection a million periods is cheap. However, attacking a million defenses which are different is expensive slightly.  It then boils down to this: How will you raise the price to your adversary’s observations and actions without raising the price for the defender equally?

It really is accepted that humans have a cognitive restriction on things such as recall, working storage, dimensional room, etc. Operating beyond any one of the dimensions may very well be beyond the peripheral cognition of a human being. That is important because machines haven’t any nagging problem operating outdoors these boundaries, which is why I’ve differentiated certain problems in this post as human-level versus machine-scale.

Diversity may be the countermeasure to Determinism. Severe types of diversity are simple for devices but infeasible for human beings, so we have to be cautious in its application inside our systems.

By accepting these human-level versus machine-level abilities and constraints, we have to design automation which has machine-level diversity and operational capability while still having the ability to be operated at the human-level by the defenders.


To be able to combat an extremely strategic and varied group of threats effectively, security professionals have to take a web page from combating game players. While repetitive and static usage of a highly effective combo or shift might maintain some adversaries at a disadvantage, or defeat many of them outright also, at some stage, a player is heading to stumbled upon a foe that not merely recognizes those patterns, but understands how exactly to counter them and successfully punish them also, leaving the ball player open plus defenseless for attack. Similar to how an e-sports activities pro can’t spam exactly the same group of moves to gain every fight just, security professionals may’t depend on the same static strategies over and over to be able to defend their organizations once again.

I encourage one to take some right time and energy to assess your corporation’s current method of security and have yourself some important questions:

  • How deterministic are usually your defense strategies?
  • Are usually there any strategies that you’re currently using that risk actors might be able to abuse or overcome? How can you know danger actors took control?
  • What group of processes are usually human-level? (manually executed)
  • What group of processes are usually machine-level? (automated by devices)

The initial step to learning to be a successful “Tactical Chameleon of Security” will be understanding how to identify what components of your strategy are human-scale troubles and which are usually machine-scale complications.  Recognizing how exactly to efficiently stability the individual and AI/ML elements in your package and understanding advantages each provide will help you to better reduce the chances of threats and allow one to seize success against whatever foes arrive your way.

%d bloggers like this: