The initial stage of any ASM solution is to discover all web-facing digital assets that contain or process sensitive data.
These assets may be owned or operated by your organization, third-parties such as suppliers, cloud providers, or business partners.
These are some examples of digital assets that should be identified and monitored by an attack surface management solution:
Cloud storage and network devices
Web applications, services, and APIs
Mobile applications and their backends
Domain names, SSL certificates, and IP addresses
Public code repositories such as GitHub and GitLab
IoT and connected devices
INVENTORY AND CLASSIFICATION
Once your assets are discovered, the next step is to commence digital asset inventory and classification, also known as IT asset inventory. This process involves dispatching and classifying the assets based on their type, business criticality, owner, technical characteristics, compliance requirements.
A person or team accountable for regular asset maintenance, updates, and protection is essential.
RISK SCORING AND SECURITY RATINGS
Without actionable risk scoring and security ratings, attack surface management would be an impossible task- most organizations have millions of fluctuating digital assets.
Security rating software lets you understand what security issues each asset has and whether they expose information that could result in data leaks, data breaches, or other cyber attacks.
Thus digital assets must be continuously detected, analyzed, and scored so you can understand what risks need to be prioritized and mitigated.
Security ratings are a data-driven, dynamic, and objective measurement of an organization’s security posture.
Security ratings are derived from externally verifiable objective information, unlike traditional risk assessment techniques like penetration testing, security questionnaires, or on-site visits.
MALICIOUS ASSET AND INCIDENT MONITORING
The current threat landscape extends beyond legitimate corporate IT assets and can involve rogue or malicious assets deployed by cybercriminals or competitors.
These assets could include email spoofing, spear-phishing websites, ransomware, or a myriad of other cyber threats.
Threats could expose personally identifiable information, sensitive data, protected health information, biometrics, trade secrets, and passwords to the dark web in current data leaks or previous data breaches.
With the increasing number of third-party data breaches, continuous identity breach detection is crucial- and the volume of daily breaches can only be handled by specialized software.
CONTINUOUS SECURITY MONITORING
Continuous security monitoring is one of the crucial parts of an attack management solution. Increasing SaaS, open-source software, IaaS, and outsourcing have made vulnerability management and misconfiguration more complicated.
Attack surface management software monitors assets 24/7 for newly discovered security vulnerabilities, misconfiguration, and compliance issues.
Attack Surface Management vs. Vulnerability Management
Vulnerability management is a subset of ASM. It simulates the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of real attackers, which provides insights into the robustness of a cybersecurity program and offers actionable solutions to prevent hackers from infiltrating systems.
Implementing regular vulnerability assessments is a critical step in helping your organization bulk up its cybersecurity posture.
Your attack surface includes all the internet-facing assets that store your data – from hardware to software. Any unknown, unprotected, and unmonitored asset is an attack vector for bad actors. Therefore, ASM planning must include everything bad actors can learn about vulnerable businesses as they investigate the threat landscape.
ATTACK SURFACE MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES