Why attack surface management is important

RiskXchange - Why attack surface management is important
RiskXchange can narrow your attack surface and prevent threats.

Attack surface management (ASM) is now one of the most important elements of digital defence in the world today. Business leaders, digital defenders and external cybersecurity firms are prioritising ASM to ensure security is at an optimum. Not only does it provide tighter security for your entire business but helps to secure data and important sensitive information.  

An attack surface is quite simply the potential digital gateways through which an attack may occur. The sheer number of connected digital “things” are increasing which means attackers have many more entry points into a network or system. ASM narrows the attack surface and prevents threats. 

What does an attack surface include? 

An attack surface includes things like Internet of things (IoT) devices, email servers, network devices, hidden code from threat actors, partners and other online devices. A good ASM program will be bespoke to any business and know the ins and outs of any cybersecurity plan for your entire company. A full assessment can estimate the risks, pinpoint the entry points and provide knowledge for an adequate defence.  

How can ASM help? 

Attack surface management conducted by a top-tier cybersecurity firm like RiskXchange involves a full assessment of the risks, cutting down on entry points, privileges and access, reducing internet-facing apps and services, running code and more.  

The first stage of ASM includes a thorough assessment of a company’s cybersecurity system and attack surface. Assigning a risk score to all assets comes early on. Reducing the attack surface based on these scores is an important next step. Assets owned by third-party vendors – suppliers, contractors, cloud providers, partners, and others – are also part of the discovery stage.  

There’s also a relatively new risk that comes in the guise of remote workers. Remote work can be extremely complicated and problematic for a business because it adds additional entry points to a network or system. Therefore, opening up an even wider attack surface and creating more risks. This only underscores the need for external cybersecurity firms to continuously monitor a network and provide good ASM. 

Benefits of outlining your attack surface 

Assessing and estimating your company’s entire attack surface not only enables a clearer picture of your company’s cybersecurity needs but also provides a more realistic cost-benefit analysis of each asset. Shrinking your attack surface and applying the resources you have to the remaining surface is the best way of reducing risk and building a strong defence. 

Here are seven key pointers to follow for the best way to reduce your attack surface: 

  1. Simplify and segment your network. 
  2. Reduce, monitor and control your endpoints. 
  3. Combine applications and tools. 
  4. Remove access and permissions when not needed. 
  5. Place deadlines on access. 
  6. Keep on top of staff changes to control access.  
  7. Provide different levels of security for privileged access.  

All of the above must be part of a continuously monitored program that will keep you on top of cybersecurity at all levels of a business. ASM is an ongoing program that includes discovery, inventory, risk analysis and more. Real-time attack surface insight is key to reducing risk and bolstering security.  

ASM as part of best practices in cybersecurity 

ASM should become part of workplace culture and a mindset adopted by the entire company – not just by those in IT departments and leadership roles. Staff should be educated and made aware of the risks, especially those working remotely which can theoretically put the whole company at risk.  

Monitor your attack surface 

RiskXchange can monitor your attack surface continuously to prevent data breaches, information leakage, as well as discover and report on a wide range of cybersecurity issues. What’s more, we can monitor your vendors continuously, automate security questionnaires, and reduce third and fourth-party risk. 

RiskXchange also enables users to monitor cybersecurity ratings, add vendors or partner organisations easily, and report on the health of their cybersecurity programs and compliance. We monitor your attack surface, prevent data breaches, discover leaked credentials, and protect customer data. 

RiskXchange helps prevent breaches by monitoring your attack surface continuously across key domains—identifying critical security issues before hackers do. Whether you’re scaling your third-party risk program or want to prevent data breaches; do it all with our team of expert analysts, cybersecurity products, and support from our AI-assisted risk management platform, which manages your vendor risks for you continuously. 

About RiskXchange 

RiskXchange is one of the firms leading the fight against cybercrime, coming up with novel solutions to everyday problems experienced at the hands of hackers. We are a respected provider of cybersecurity ratings and can fully assess potential threats to ensure your business has an effective ASM program.  

With full visibility over your eco-systems entire attack surface in near real-time, you can regularly monitor and mitigate risks to prevent unnecessary exposures. Our passive data collection methods are effective and have no impact on your network performance. Using data-driven insights to prevent breaches is the best way to reduce an attack surface and prevent cyberattacks.   

RiskXchange provides a powerful AI-assisted, yet simple automated and centralised 360-degree cybersecurity risk rating management approach. We generate objective and quantitative reporting on a company’s cybersecurity risk and performance, which enables organisations with evolving business requirements to conduct business securely in today’s open and collaborative digital world.  

RiskXchange is an information security technology company, which helps companies of all sizes fight the threat of cyber threats by providing instant risk ratings for any company across the globe. RiskXchange was founded and is led by recognised experts within the security industry, who have held leading roles within companies such as IBM Security.  Find out more here.

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