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Do you ever feel your organization is just one step away from a catastrophic data breach? If so, you’re not alone. Cybersecurity is more critical now than ever, and the number of attacks on organizations of all sizes continues to rise. But don’t worry – you can take steps to map your organization’s attack surface and fortify your defenses. This blog post will outline attack surface mapping and how to do it effectively.

Let’s get started!

What Is an Attack Surface?

An attack surface is the potential vulnerability of a system or network to unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction of data. Basically, it’s the total of all points where someone could potentially attack your system or network and gain access to your data.

It includes all the systems and devices connected to your network and all the different applications and services running on those systems and devices. And it’s always increasing as more devices connect to the internet.

How to Map Your Attack Surface

To map your attack surface, you must understand what systems and data are in scope for your organization. You will also need to identify critical assets that can be considered low-risk. Once you have this information, you can create a comprehensive map of your organization’s attack surface.

There are a few different ways to go about mapping your attack surface, including;

Asset Discovery

Any organization that wants to secure its digital assets must first understand what those assets are and where they are located. This process is known as asset discovery, the first step in mapping your attack surface.

Various methods can be used for asset discovery, including network scanning, web crawling, and manual reviews. Network scanning is the most common method, as it can be automated and therefore covers a large area quickly.

However, network scanning can also miss assets not connected to the network, so it is essential to supplement this method with other discovery methods. Web crawling is an effective way to find web-based assets, while manual reviews can help to uncover hidden or unlisted assets. Once your assets have been discovered, you can begin assessing their security risks and putting in place measures to protect them.

Vulnerability Discovery

Vulnerability discovery is the process of identifying and classification of vulnerabilities in a system. The goal is to determine the existence, severity, and risk posed by each vulnerability.

This information can then be used to prioritize and mitigate risks. There are many ways to discover vulnerabilities, but the most common method is through network scanning. By sending probing requests to a system and analyzing the responses, it is possible to identify potential weaknesses.

Once discovered, vulnerabilities can be classified according to their seriousness and potential for exploitation. This information can then be used to guide security decision-making. Vulnerability discovery is an important part of securing any system and should be part of any security plan. By taking the time to map out your attack surface, you can more effectively identify and mitigate risks.

Managing Vulnerabilities

Any security professional will tell you that managing vulnerabilities is critical to keeping systems and data safe. But what exactly does vulnerability management involve? Here is a brief overview of the four key steps:

  1. Identity: The first step is to identify any potential vulnerabilities in your systems. This can be done through manual inspection or by using automated tools that scan for known weaknesses.
  2. Prioritize: Once you have a list of potential vulnerabilities, it’s important to prioritize them based on severity and likelihood of being exploited. This will help you focus your efforts on the risks that pose the greatest threat to your organization.
  3. Fix: The next step is to fix the vulnerabilities that have been identified. This may involve patching software, reconfiguring systems, or implementing security controls.
  4. Monitor: Even after vulnerabilities have been fixed, monitoring for new risks and re-evaluating existing ones regularly is important. This will help you keep your systems secure against ever-changing threats.

The Benefits of Attack Surface Mapping (ASM)

ASM provides many benefits for both organizations and individual security professionals. For organizations, ASM can help identify and prioritize security risks and optimize security operations and investments. For individual security professionals, ASM can provide a deeper understanding of an organization’s attack surface, helping to inform and improve their own security posture.

Some of the specific benefits of ASM include:

  • A complete understanding of an organization’s attack surface, including both external and internal threats
  • Identification of high-risk areas and systems that may require additional security measures
  • Improved security operations through better visibility into potential threats and risks
  • Optimization of security investments by focusing on areas with the greatest risk
  • Increased efficiency in incident response through a better understanding of an organization’s systems and vulnerabilities

Conclusion

Organizations today face a growing number of cybersecurity threats. To protect against these threats, it is essential to have a complete understanding of your organization’s attack surface. Attack surface mapping (ASM) is a process that can help you achieve this understanding.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to map your organization’s attack surface, or if you would like help assessing and mitigating your risks, schedule a free consultation with the cybersecurity experts at Cyber Sainik today. We can help protect your systems and data against the ever-changing threat landscape.