Why Your Business Needs a Modern Attack Surface Assessment

Attack Surface Management
5 min read
James Mignacca
November 9, 2022
James Mignacca
November 9, 2022
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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.

Your Business’s attack surface is changing every day. Your attack surface is all possible points where an unauthorized user can gain access to a system and extract or delete sensitive data.

Businesses must prevent this happening for two critical reasons. Firstly, because they are regulated to protect sensitive data by the local governments in which data is collected, stored and used. Secondly, because data is crucial to the daily operations of a business. Losing data could have a significant impact on their ability to do business, impacting future growth and overall profitability.

What is Attack Surface Management and How has it Changed?

The challenge is, the attack surface of most organizations is growing at a significant rate, and their associated cyber risk is increasing with it.

Yet, despite this, the majority of companies are still using traditional point-in-time vulnerability assessments to understand this risk - but these are no longer fit for purpose. In this blog, we explore why these assessments are no longer effective, and what your business should be doing instead.

What is a traditional vulnerability assessment?

The large majority of organizations are still implementing traditional vulnerability management, which focuses on a company’s “perimeter” by securing assets such as desktops, printers, routers and other physical “walls”.

Yet the overall attack surface has changed dramatically in recent years.

Cloud adoption, today’s distributed workforce and an increasing reliance on connected systems means the traditional perimeter of a business no longer exists. Cyber attackers have more entry points into a business than ever before, and this is increasing cyber risk and the likelihood of data loss for most organizations.

Why traditional vulnerability assessments are no longer fit for purpose

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 vulnerabilities are only when the assessment was performed.

The issue is, these results quickly expire and fail to give businesses an accurate picture of their digital assets, the sensitive data they contain and the risks they produce.

While this gives companies a snapshot of in-the-moment vulnerabilities across their perimeter, it leaves them in the dark when it comes to understanding their business’s overall attack surface across new attack vectors such as cloud applications and connected systems.

The benefits of a continuous attack surface management

Most IT and security teams rely on a number of security systems and software to manage their company’s cyber risk and achieve different security outcomes. Yet when you rely on these systems (which don’t ‘talk’ to each other and can’t correlate vulnerability findings) and point-in-time vulnerability assessments, you are likely missing out on valuable insights that provide real-time data security.

Due to the ever-expanding and changing nature of today's attack surface, companies that truly want to protect themselves from cyber risk and data loss must transition away from point-in-time assessments and adopt a comprehensive attack surface management strategy instead.

Attack surface management is the combination of people, processes and industry best practices to continuously - in real time - manage your attack surface and mitigate cyber threats to your internal and external digital assets.

Attack surface management uses a combination of cyber asset attack surface management (CAASM), digital risk protection services (DRPS) and external attack surface management (EASM) to help businesses achieve greater security maturity and protect them from data loss.

How Cavelo can help

Cavelo is an attack surface management platform that empowers organizations to continuously identify sensitive data across all digital assets, and prioritize data loss prevention, compliance and security initiatives based on risk benchmarking.

With Cavelo you can move beyond one-time vulnerability assessments and implement continuous vulnerability management, helping you to:

  • Manage organizations data policies by defining data access boundaries.
  • Get alerts when company, customer or employee data lands somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • Understand when you’re keeping sensitive data like customer or employee records longer than you should.
  • Reduce false positives with richer threat intelligence
  • Improve threat detection across your security stack with data classification and an up-to-date data inventory.
  • Respond to threats faster with real-time alerts and actionable insights.

Interested in learning more about the Cavelo platform and how continuous vulnerability management can help reduce your company’s cyber risk? Request a demo today.

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