Cybersecurity: Not only defense, but also attack

Luc Williams

The role of offensive cybersecurity

Suchocki emphasizes that cybersecurity can be compared to military operations or a football match, where both defense and attack play key roles. Defensive strategies focus on protecting assets, while offensive strategies aim to identify and exploit potential weaknesses before malicious actors do. This proactive approach involves simulating the actions of adversaries, effectively becoming “hackers for hire” to discover and mitigate vulnerabilities.

Legal and ethical aspects

Conducting offensive activities in cybersecurity must be consistent with legal regulations. Such activities require explicit consent from the resource owner and are subject to strict contracts and legal frameworks.

Regulations such as GDPR, the upcoming NIS 2 directive, and DORA require organizations to manage cyber risk through continuous, dynamic offensive actions, rather than sporadic audits. This change highlights the importance of an ongoing, systematic approach to cybersecurity.

Technologies and Processes in Offensive Cybersecurity There is no single technology that provides comprehensive cybersecurity. Instead, orchestration of various tools and processes is necessary. This orchestration includes vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, risk analysis, and implementing mitigation steps. As technology evolves, these tools must be continually updated and integrated into a coherent system that dynamically processes data to identify and eliminate threats.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a key element in increasing the effectiveness of cybersecurity operations. AI helps quickly identify and respond to vulnerabilities, thereby reducing the risks associated with growing technical debt.

The dual nature of AI in cybersecurity The role of AI in cybersecurity is twofold: it supports defenders in identifying and mitigating threats, but also provides new tools for cybercriminals. AI can be used to automate phishing campaigns and generate advanced attacks, ensuring organizations must always stay one step ahead of their opponents in the cyber arms race.

Practical implications for companies

Businesses must prioritize continuous vulnerability management and threat assessment to ensure robust cybersecurity. Suchocki highlights common vulnerabilities, such as outdated software, that can be easily exploited if not fixed quickly.

Implementing a dynamic, cyclical vulnerability management process can prevent incidents such as ransomware attacks, which often result from unpatched systems.

The future of offensive cybersecurity The demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals continues to grow, but there is a talent shortage. To fill this gap, the industry is moving toward creating intuitive and easy-to-use platforms that allow non-experts to perform advanced cybersecurity tasks. Automation and optimization of cybersecurity processes are key trends, enabling organizations to strengthen their security without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

Cybersecurity is evolving from a purely defensive discipline towards proactive offensive actions. By identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities before they are exploited, organizations can significantly improve their security posture. AI integration and the development of user-friendly platforms are shaping the future of cybersecurity, ensuring that even non-experts can contribute to maintaining strong security.


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.