Attack Surface Management
It’s our fifth installment of the blog, (yes! Our FIFTH!) and this time we take a new direction to better understand Attack Surface Management (ASM).
What is an attack surface?
An attack surface is any entry point that an attacker can use to gain access to your network or sensitive data. It’s all the hardware, software, cloud assets, and SaaS in your organization’s possession – even those assets you may have forgotten (or didn’t know about) that an attacker can try to access.
A company’s attack surface is typically a large area, and as more and more people work remotely and access the cloud, the area to secure grows. Managing your attack surface and the requirements of ASM vary from company to company, since every organization’s attack surface is unique. Because of this, a tailored ASM plan and response is required.
How can organizations better understand their attack surface to determine risk? ASM to the rescue. A good ASM program monitors your assets internally and externally and detects not just exposures, but changes in your company’s infrastructure. Well-tailored ASM uses real-time data and graph-enabled mapping to react with speed and agility to your organization’s security threats. Essentially, what ASM does is give you a clear and continual picture of your needs and allow you to formulate a plan. It allows you a good, hard look at who you are as a company and what’s required to keep you safe, up-to-date, and to protect your attack surface and your people. This is often called your security posture.
What ASM does that’s unique in security monitoring is it takes the perspective of the attacker and uses that to ferret out threats. Through asset analysis and vulnerability detection, ASM prioritizes your response to reduce vulnerability by covering attacker-exposed assets. ASM continually looks blind spots, weak passwords, outdated or unpatched software and encryption failures, and for assets that may have been deployed by departments other than central IT (Shadow IT). It’s a lot of work to defend your assets, and ASM is continually monitoring those areas most often used by attackers to infiltrate a system. ASM is continually honing your security profile. And even better? ASM reports are useful not just to IT teams, but to non-technical stakeholders as well.
If your organization is working through digital transformation or has many users connected to the cloud, ASM is a tool that your organization can’t forego. With attack surface management in your toolbox, you better prepare your IT personnel to be proactive and prioritize threats, keeping your sensitive data out of the hands of attackers.
ASM is a data-driven mitigation of attack risk that not only protects your company’s sensitive information, but also your reputation and bottom line by identifying, categorizing, and prioritizing threats. ASM is a tool to have on your side that profiles your assets, even the ones that you might not know about.
ASM is smart. And so are you.
Post 1: XDR technology and how it works
Post 2: XDR: How the Evolution of Endpoint Technology is Moving Beyond the Endpoint
Post 3: Your Network and the Cyber Attack Lifecycle
Post 4: XDR vs SIEM; why they’re not the same and what else you need to know