Why You Need Attack Surface Management (And How To Achieve It)

Why You Need Attack Surface Management (And How To Achieve It)

Attack surface management (ASM) has rightly become a major priority for business leaders and digital defenders alike. The number of connected things is growing, and that means attackers have far more entryways into your networks and systems. With ASM, you can respond proactively to threats to stop them before they start.

What is ASM? 

So, what is attack surface management, exactly? And what is the attack surface, for that matter? An attack surface is simply the sum of potential digital doorways through which attacks may occur — all possible risks.

These could include email servers, Internet of things (IoT) devices, network devices, partners, hidden code from threat actors and many other online ‘things.’ A proactive cyber attack surface management program starts with knowing your specific case. What is contained in the full inventory of your attack surface? Within that assessment you’ll need to formally estimate your risk and note potential exposure for each asset.

How to Get Proactive With ASM

External attack surface management often involves cutting down on entry points, access and privilege, running code, internet facing apps, apps and services and more. But you can’t reduce until you know what’s there. First, you’ll need to thoroughly discover, inventory, classify and assign a risk score to all knowable assets.

That also includes assets owned by third-parties like contractors, suppliers, partners, cloud providers and others. The rise in remote work can complicate both IT asset inventory and the reduction in attack surface. But the rise in attacks that exploit remote work also shows the need for a renewed focus on ASM.

One of the great benefits of documenting and estimating the attack surface is that it enables ..