The editors at Solutions Review look at some common ASM mistakes enterprises make, and what can be done to counteract them.
Attack surface management (ASM) is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing the potential vulnerabilities in an organization’s IT infrastructure that attackers could exploit. The attack surface refers to all the entry points an attacker could use to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s systems or data, including devices, applications, and network components. ASM is a proactive approach to cybersecurity that involves continuously monitoring the attack surface to detect and mitigate potential threats before they can be exploited.
ASM aims to reduce an organization’s cyber-attack risk by identifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities based on their potential impact and likelihood of exploitation. This requires a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s IT infrastructure, including all the devices and applications that make up the attack surface. ASM involves using automated tools to discover and monitor the attack surface, conducting vulnerability scans and penetration tests to identify weaknesses, and implementing policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of human error.
ASM is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and adaptation to evolving threats. As attackers develop new techniques and tools, organizations must stay up-to-date on the latest trends in cybersecurity and adapt their ASM strategies accordingly. By implementing a comprehensive ASM program, organizations can reduce cyber-attack risks and protect their valuable assets and data. However, there are several common mistakes that enterprises make when it comes to ASM, which can leave their networks and systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
5 Common ASM Mistakes to Avoid in 2023
Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to prevent them:
- Lack of visibility into the attack surface: Many enterprises do not have a comprehensive understanding of their IT infrastructure, including all the devices, applications, and network components that make up their attack surface. With this visibility, it’s easier to identify and prioritize potential vulnerabilities. Organizations should use automated tools to continuously discover and monitor their attack surface to prevent this mistake, including devices and applications that employees or third-party vendors introduce.
- Focusing solely on technology solutions: While technology solutions such as firewalls and antivirus software are essential components of ASM, they are not enough on their own. Organizations must also focus on educating employees on security best practices and implementing policies and procedures that reduce the likelihood of human error. This includes regular security awareness training, strict access controls, and regular security audits.
- Failing to prioritize vulnerabilities: Even with a comprehensive understanding of the attack surface, it’s not practical or feasible to address every potential vulnerability simultaneously. Organizations must prioritize vulnerabilities based on their severity and likelihood of exploitation. This requires a risk-based approach that considers factors such as the value of the protected asset and the potential impact of a successful attack.
- Relying too heavily on penetration testing: Penetration testing can be a valuable tool for identifying vulnerabilities, but it’s not a comprehensive solution on its own. Organizations must also conduct regular vulnerability scans and implement continuous monitoring to detect and respond to threats in real-time.
- Assuming compliance equals security: Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that compliance with regulations such as HIPAA or PCI-DSS is equivalent to being secure. While compliance is important, it only provides a baseline level of security. Organizations must go beyond compliance and implement best practices specific to their industry and unique risk profile.
To prevent these common mistakes, organizations should implement a comprehensive ASM program that includes automated discovery and monitoring of the attack surface, employee education and policy development, vulnerability prioritization, continuous monitoring, and a risk-based approach to security. By taking a holistic approach to ASM, enterprises can reduce their cyber-attack risk and protect their valuable assets and data.
This article on common ASM mistakes made by enterprises was AI-generated by ChatGPT and edited by Solutions Review editors.