Per Gartner, attack surface strategy considers three areas of focus: CAASM for internal assets, Digital Risk Protection Services (DRPS) for brand protection and compliance, and External Attack Surface Management (EASM) for external and internet-facing assets.
Understanding your business’s attack surface starts with knowing where your business’s data is. An attack surface assessment (or evaluation) can help you and your team identify your business’s use cases and their criticality based on risk scoring.
But how do you know when your business needs an attack surface evaluation?
Here are five signs that indicate it may be time:
1. You don't have visibility into your cyber assets
If you don't have a clear understanding of what assets you own—including hardware, software, cloud services, etc.—you can’t maintain an accurate inventory of the data they contain. This limits your ability to accurately assess your overall security posture, rank risk and identify any gaps in protection that could leave you vulnerable to attacks.
2. Your IT team is overwhelmed with manual processes
Common processes like patching and updating can quickly become overwhelming if they're not automated properly—especially if your IT team is already stretched thin due to other tasks like responding to user requests or managing new projects. Automating these processes will help free up resources so they can focus on more strategic remediation instead of just keeping the lights on.
3. You're using outdated technology
Legacy technology can increase the chances of vulnerabilities being exploited by attackers since newer versions often include patches for known issues found in older versions (like Windows XP). Upgrading regularly helps ensure that all assets remain secure against threats targeting the legacy systems they may still use. Attack surface management tools and methods are shifting to meet emerging use cases. Matching your use cases to CAASM, DRPS, and EASM outcomes will help you determine whether you need to update your security stack and its capabilities.
4. You've experienced a breach before
An attack surface evaluation will help identify if prior weaknesses and entry points in your infrastructure have been properly remediated and strengthened.
5. You're expanding rapidly
As your business grows, so does your digital footprint. This creates more opportunities for attackers looking for ways into your corporate networks. An attack surface evaluation will provide insight into any areas where additional protections need to be put in place as well as highlight any existing weak spots that should be addressed immediately.
An attack surface evaluation ensures you gain visibility across all cyber assets owned by your business. It also reduces the risks associated with potential data leaks or breaches caused by malicious actors exploiting vulnerabilities within those assets. By recognizing these five signs, organizations can better guard against potential threats while also staying ahead of compliance requirements.
The Cavelo platform can help you conduct an attack surface evaluation. Continuous data discovery scanning gives you complete visibility into all assets that connect to your organization and all of the sensitive data those assets collect and store. The platform helps you identify and match your use cases and see your entire environment in one centralized location.
Check out our Buyer’s Guide to Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management to explore how attack surface management is changing and how new technologies like CAASM, DRPS, and EASM can help you continuously evaluate your attack surface, align to best practice principles and achieve a stronger security posture.