MSP Insights: Prioritizing Top Attack Surface Use Cases

Managed Service Provider
Attack Surface Management
5 min read
Kris Shoemaker
Head of Channel
September 13, 2023
Kris Shoemaker
Head of Channel
September 13, 2023
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Definitive Guide to Attack Surface Management for MSPs
This guide is designed to help MSPs explore attack surface management technologies and how they can support a stronger security posture for their clients.

Businesses are becoming more aware of the evolving threat landscape, and actively seeking Managed Service Provider (MSP) partners that can provide specialized services to mitigate emerging risks. By expanding your services to cover new attack surface use cases, you foster diversification that makes your services more attractive to potential customers—and more valuable to renewing customers.

Additionally, offering specialized services helps you position you and your team as experts in the field. This expertise can justify premium service pricing, potentially leading to higher profit margins. For example, strategic attack surface consulting and advisory services add greater value, and help your customer understand their specific risks, guide informed security investments, and enhance their cybersecurity posture.

Aligning to new attack surface management use cases also demonstrates that your business is proactive and up to date with the latest cybersecurity trends, which contributes to increased customer trust and loyalty, reducing customer churn and contributing to long-term relationships. Expanded expertise sets you apart from your competitors and positions you as a thought leader in the industry. This differentiation makes it easier for you to stand out in the increasingly crowded MSP marketplace.

Top MSP Insight: Applying “left of boom” processes to decrease customer risk — and increase value

MSPs have been adapting their service offerings to meet growing customer needs, demonstrate value, and most importantly, reduce risk. Military strategy is commonly applied to cybersecurity strategy, and for good reason—much like military combat, security providers are adopting maneuvers and tactics to manage risk, protect organizations from adversarial attacks, and give defenders an advantage in attack (combat) situations.

‘Left of boom’ is one such strategy that’s commonly applied to cybersecurity planning. Its premise balances continuous risk management against risk tolerance. It represents the reality that while a cyber incident is likely (the boom), an organization’s goal is to put best practices and processes in place that proactively manage risk (left of boom) and reactively minimize impact (right of boom). Cybersecurity strategy can be intimidating to smaller organizations; instituting ‘left of boom’ principles on their behalf is easier than you may think, and highly valuable.

Here are some examples of initiatives that represent proactive ‘left of boom’ processes:

  • Risk Assessment and Analysis: MSPs are offering comprehensive risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities and potential attack vectors in an organization's IT environment. This involves evaluating systems, networks, applications, and user behaviors to pinpoint potential weak points. By understanding the specific risks facing each customer, MSPs are tailoring their services to address the most critical areas.
  • Security Patching and Updates: Keeping systems and software up to date is a fundamental aspect of attack surface management. MSPs are helping customers by implementing regular patch management processes, which involve testing and deploying security patches and updates in a timely manner to reduce the risk of exploitation.
  • User Training and Education: Human error remains a significant contributor to security breaches. MSPs are offering employee training programs to educate staff about cybersecurity best practices, social engineering tactics, and the importance of following security policies. By increasing user awareness, MSPs help minimize the attack surface related to social engineering attacks.
  • Endpoint Resiliency: With the rise of remote work and the proliferation of connected devices, endpoint security has become a critical concern.  

Most companies and their service providers focus their time and tools on post-incident, or reactionary ‘right of boom’ initiatives; however, greater investment and focus on proactive ‘left of boom’ principles help organizations better manage their risk profile and therefore reduce the risk of a breach.

Prioritizing new attack surface use cases for risk management

Evaluating how attack surface use cases align to your existing or evolving security stack is an important consideration when balancing offerings that grow your business, set you apart from the competition and deliver greater value to your customers. Knowing where your customers’ data lives and what data they have is instrumental in attack surface use case mapping—and establishing a proactive ‘left of boom’ strategy to support it.

Here are four ways the Cavelo platform can help you prioritize top attack surface use cases and enrich your service offering:

  1. New customer onboarding workflow – The Cavelo platform supports your onboarding process by establishing a single source of truth. It helps you understand your customer’s infrastructure, what digital assets and data they have, and their data risk. Using Cavelo for new customer onboarding helps you map responsibilities, identify issues, make recommendations for improvement, and package the correct set of services.
  1. Data discovery – Your team uses advanced tools and technologies to continuously monitor your customers’ attack surfaces – this includes tracking assets, vulnerabilities, and potential threats in real time. By maintaining an up-to-date inventory of assets and understanding the associated risks, you can provide timely recommendations for mitigating vulnerabilities and reducing the attack surface. The Cavelo platform helps you get control of your customers' data, track and classify all data by type, and provide customer reassurance that all structured and unstructured data is accounted for and protected.
  1. Vulnerability management – You actively help your customers identify and prioritize vulnerabilities within their systems and applications through activities like regular vulnerability scans, penetration testing, and patch management. The Cavelo platform complements initiatives with vulnerability management metrics and data insights that are critical to broader attack surface strategy. Cavelo leverages a number of standard indicators to measure security vulnerabilities, including the severity and age of software vulnerabilities and the maturity state of security controls in place. Converting these metrics to insights that are relevant to your customers' businesses and the types of sensitive data they use, store, and share provides an understanding of threat exposure, and enables you and your customers to make informed decisions to manage that exposure over time.
  1. Compliance – Many industries have specific compliance requirements that dictate data protection standards. You actively assist your customers, helping them to understand and adhere to these regulations by implementing security measures and processes that align with industry standards. The Cavelo platform ensures that data discovery and classification policies and procedures are implemented to help your team support your customers as they navigate routine audits.

Overall, the Cavelo platform helps you map your customers’ sensitive data and unique vulnerabilities to best practice benchmarks like NIST standards and the CIS (Center for Internet Security) Controls, a list of 18 core security controls and guidance to achieve them.

The Cavelo dashboard is a single pane of glass that provides visibility into data discovery, vulnerabilities, software deployments and data access, all with configurable policies. With intuitive and customizable features, you can easily configure the Cavelo platform to match each customer’s unique requirements and regulatory frameworks.

Take a self-guided tour of the Cavelo platform today and see how it can help your business align to new attack surface use cases, and attract, retain, and delight clients, all while solidifying your position as a trusted cybersecurity partner.

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