What is Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management?

5 min read
James Mignacca
December 28, 2022
James Mignacca
December 28, 2022
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What is Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management?

When it comes to securing your company’s attack surface, visibility is key. Yet as attack surfaces continue to evolve, growing in size and complexity, many businesses are struggling to achieve the visibility they need to secure their network and comply with data privacy regulations. 

In fact, a recent study from Trend Micro found that 73 percent of global organizations are worried about their growing attack surface, with 43 percent admitting that it is “spiralling out of control.” 

A further 37 percent said it is constantly evolving and messy, while 62 percent of organizations said they have blind spots that hamper security.

That’s why cyber asset attack surface management (CAASM) is critical for modern security. In this blog, we take a look at what exactly CAASM is, its use cases, as well as how its implementation will benefit your organization.

What is CAASM?

Gartner defines cyber asset attack surface management as an “emerging technology that enables security teams to solve persistent asset visibility and vulnerability challenges.”

CAASM aims to ensure businesses maintain full visibility of their assets through a single pane of glass. It does this by auditing the data and assets a business has, and then establishing risk benchmarks that allow a company’s IT team to focus their data protection efforts (and data compliance) on their most vulnerable and valuable assets.

Through the use of automated data discovery and data classification, CAASM works to ensure organizations have complete visibility into where their data lives, how it’s being used, and who has access to it. 

This visibility into where structured and unstructured data lives gives businesses a full understanding of their attack surface and the state of their security maturity.

What are the use cases for CAASM?

Organizations can use cyber asset attack surface management for a range of use cases, including:

Cyber asset visibility and governance

Through cyber asset attack surface management, organizations are able to maintain a unified view of their attack service by taking inventory of where all of their data lives, how it’s being used and who has access to it.

Endpoint security

The visibility that comes with CAASM enables organizations to evaluate the state of their existing security maturity. Through risk benchmarks, businesses can identify security coverage gaps and areas of weakness, and then strengthen their security posture.

Data compliance

Without visibility into both structured and unstructured data, businesses are significantly more vulnerable to data compliance issues. CAASM gives businesses the visibility they need to ensure they are complying with the data privacy regulations that apply to them.

What are the benefits of Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management? 

1. Gain complete visibility into where structured and unstructured data lives

An organization's attack surface changes every day, and at the same time their data grows. As a result, maintaining visibility of sensitive data across the business is becoming an increasingly complex challenge. Cyber asset attack surface management, however, is able to resolve data visibility challenges. 

Gartner’s Innovation Insight for Attack Surface Management report estimates that, by 2026, 20 percent of companies will have more than 95 percent visibility of all their assets, which will be prioritized by risk and control coverage by implementing cyber asset attack surface management functionality - up from less than 1 percent in 2022.

2. Real-time attack surface management

Traditional vulnerability assessments are typically performed just a few times a year, offering point-in-time results that give a snapshot of where a business's vulnerabilities are only when the assessment was performed. But this fails to give businesses an accurate picture of their digital assets, the sensitive data they contain and the risks they produce.

CAASM provides real-time data discovery that enables organizations to manage their attack surface and mitigate cyber threats continuously, in real time. 

3. Elimination of data silos

Conflicting data sources leave organizations with inaccurate data and coverage when it comes to their attack surface. With CAASM, businesses will have a single source of truth displayed in one pane of glass, eliminating the data silos that come with the use of fragmented tools. 

4. Improved data compliance 

Getting visibility into sensitive data and classifying it according to the data types relevant to your business is a critical aspect of ensuring your business complies with regulatory compliance. This process can be incredibly time consuming and complex when done manually, leading to errors that put your organization at risk of non-compliance. 

CAASM continuously updates data inventories, automatically discovering and classifying sensitive data so that your business can continuously see the full picture and focus on specific areas to answer audit questions.

Are you interested in learning more about how cyber asset attack surface management can help protect your company’s attack surface? Request a Cavelo platform demo today.

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