An attack surface is a total sum of all the resources within an infrastructure, which are vulnerable or open for exploitation. This attack surface has branched out to multiple functions, applications, and hardware, owing to the rise of digital evolution.
This is why IT professionals are faced with such hassle, especially in modern organizations where the attack surface is extremely elaborate and vast. This is also why the ability to see an entire IT infrastructure and all the various ways it could be compromised is invaluable to any IT department.
The capability to view integrated data from various, diverse security products and see all indicators of exposure which is uniquely prioritized to the context of an organization is what a robust attack surface management software does. If you’re still wondering how visibility is essential, read on to understand what you can do.
Why Is Visualization Essential?
Visualizing plays a pivotal role in combating and preventing cyberattacks launched against an organization. Networks that were old and outdated neither had nor required to focus on visibility. However, the networks of today are designed with the same in mind.
If you cannot see your assets and understand the true scale of your attack surface, how would you be able to stand up to threats? Vulnerability scanners used by companies will give a severity score to a specific asset, but the score is invaluable if it doesn’t show how the attacker can exploit the asset or weak spot.
This is why experts recommend a three-pronged attack to improve vulnerability. This includes:
- Attack Surface Modeling: This approach integrates the understanding of all network assets, topologies, and even policies to show how a system would operate in the real world. These allow you to visualize attacks from a distance, without any consequences.
- Attack Simulation: This allows for a small change or input to the network to test if any of your assets or exposures could be exploited.
- Patch Simulation: This allows one to organize all patching efforts, quickly noticing the asymmetric effects of a standard fix.
But now that you’ve attained visibility with attack surface management, what next?
- Focus on Critical Risk
Attack surface visualizations have to account for massive amounts of data from the main infrastructure and all internal or external threats against it.
To achieve a comprehensive understanding of these vulnerabilities, solutions have to keep notice of every minuscule detail from new threats and vulnerability configurations leading to risky access paths to misconfigurations in the network.
With a vast surface, an enterprise might have hundreds of vulnerabilities lurking about their networks, with hundreds flooding in every day. Effective attack surface visualization allows vulnerability management teams to focus on all the risks exposed without wasting time finding them.
Scanners cannot understand imminent distinctions as they lack insight into topology and controls and use standard CVE scoring to assign a security level. However, they do not show you where exactly your weak spots are, which risks are prone to be exploited and how they could be. This is why detailed visualization is essential.
- Respond Faster to Emerging Threats and Ongoing Attacks
Without effective means to determine the vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attacks, IT teams and security personnel could spend weeks dousing the fire lit by the attack. With an effective attack surface management solution, you can immediately visualize and identify all the targeted risks and vulnerabilities across the entire attack surface.
Teams can appreciate all remediation strategies available to them when understanding the greater context of an organization’s attack surface. Changing rules on one firewall or inserting an IPS signature could be a better answer than patching software on hundreds of hardware platforms.
- Improve Security Management Programs
In addition to insights into risk and threat assessment, attack surface visualizations can also prove to be useful at an operational level. The data and comparative figures from such solutions can identify those security/network teams that are lacking in their level of skills or have shown lax results.
Preparation of audits can also be streamlined when using up-to-date topology charts and documentations of the vulnerabilities. Such improvements powered by visualization solutions point to the best use of available resources.
By providing complete visibility and context, IT teams can thoroughly understand their overall security systems and attain the data they need to take quick and effective action against threats.
Understanding and visualizing the attack surface of an enterprise is only the first step against threats, but it might be the most important one.
To effectively fight off any threat, an immediate response is the best way to ensure that there are no major consequences. This is something good attack surface management solutions provide through their effective and in-depth visibility options