The adoption of cloud, remote work and BYOD trends have led to an exponential increase in the attack surface of enterprises. What’s even worse is that most organizations don’t have an enterprise attack surface management program in place to deal with the growing attack surface. This makes it easy for cybercriminals to target enterprises because they have more targets to hit and more vulnerabilities to exploit.
Some organizations have a plan but they don’t execute that plan effectively while others don’t even have a plan in place to keep the attack surface in check. With an efficient enterprise attack surface management system in place, you can easily identify vulnerabilities by analyzing operations but also understand the threat landscape in a much better way. This will help you develop a comprehensive plan and also execute it correctly.
In this article, you will learn about seven ways you can use to reduce your enterprise attack surface and provide fewer opportunities for hackers to exploit those vulnerabilities.
Here are seven ways you can use to reduce the enterprise attack surface.
The first thing your need to do to minimize the attack surface is to maintain the inventory of all the digital assets. Once you know what digital assets you own, ask yourself which of them are exposed and more likely to be targeted and compromised. What areas of your network are more likely to be targeted? What type of DDoS protection you need to have in place to keep these attacks at bay.
The key to success is to increase attack surface visibility. Maintain a database of attack vulnerabilities. Let’s say, you have legacy systems or old servers, you need to focus on protecting them as they are most vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
Enterprises can take advantage of predictive modelling to create a realistic depiction of events and gauge the risk associated with those events. Once you know the risk, you can connect the dots and model what will happen before, during or after a cyberattack or data breach.
According to John Pescatore, director of emerging security trends at SANS, “The successful [attack surface mapping] strategies are pretty straightforward: Know what you are protecting (accurate asset inventory); monitor for vulnerabilities in those assets; and use threat intelligence to know how attackers are going after those assets with those vulnerabilities.”
Probably the best way to minimize your attack surface is to follow cybersecurity best practices and enforce policies. Invest in an intrusion detection system and perform a periodical risk assessment.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce your enterprise attack surface.
One of the biggest advantages of an attack surface management solution is that it enables organizations to identify loopholes in their systems and fix them before they can be exploited by hackers. After mapping out the attack surface, you need to identify the biggest vulnerabilities and threat vectors to your organization. Next, you need to take action to mitigate the risk posed by those vulnerabilities and threats. After taking care of big risks, now you can move on to lower risk vulnerabilities. The faster you fix those vulnerabilities, the safer your enterprise is to cyberattacks.
The pace at which the cybersecurity landscape is evolving is mind-boggling. Threat actors continuously evolve and try new methods to fulfil their malicious designs. If your enterprise fails to make constant adjustments to your IT infrastructure, cybercriminals can easily get the better of you. The best way to overcome this challenge is to implement real-time security monitoring and frequent testing.
You can invest in security information and event management software that can automate the monitoring part. It can also assist you in identifying, categorizing and analyzing cybersecurity incidents and events. As far as testing goes, you can rely on third-party penetration testing services as it can give you unbiased feedback from a third-party source.
Most cyber criminals use social engineering attacks such as phishing attacks to compromise your network. Despite this, a handful of organizations have adopted email security protocols.
Here are some of the protocols you need to use to beef up the security of the email system.
By implementing these email security protocols, you can block most email-based threats.
Enterprises should create policies and procedures in place to better understand and comply with both internal and governmental standards. Once all your security policies comply with government guidelines, now you need to create a plan. Designate a team that reviews new regulations and policies before enforcing them. Another misconception most businesses has is compliance and security is one thing so when they ensure compliance with standards, they think they are safe. Sadly, that is not the case. You need to have security processes and controls in place in addition to complying with standards.
Hire security analysts and auditors who can bring a fresh perspective to your cybersecurity team. They might look at threats from a whole new perspective, which is why they can help you identify threat vectors that were ignored by your cybersecurity team. They can also contribute towards creating an effective event management plan.
Chief Technology Officer at Smart Billions said, “When attempting to objectively determine the security risk, having an outside, impartial perspective can be extremely beneficial. Use an independent monitoring process to help recognize risk behaviour and threats before they become a problem on your endpoints, particularly new digital assets, newly onboarded vendors, and remote employees.”
How do you minimize the attack surface of your enterprise? Share it with us in the comments section below.