Modern Attack Surface Management for CISOs
Today’s attack surface requires modern processes and security solutions. Explore the tenants of modern attack surface management (ASM) and what CISOs need to look for in an ASM solution.
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Rapid digital transformation and increased connectivity have made securing the attack surface a notable challenge for CISOs. A global Trend Micro survey found that 73% of IT and business leaders are concerned about their digital attack surface and 62% reported that have blind spots in trying to secure it.
Organizations will continue to grapple with these concerns if they stick to traditional attack surface management (ASM) processes. Previously, organizations could rely on irregular, piecemeal inventory. But attackers move faster, time-consuming manual processes must be eliminated. Furthermore, traditional approaches cannot keep pace with the fluid attack surface—especially in the cloud—nor provide enough context, leading to an incomplete, and outdated overview which CISOs are leveraging to make strategic decisions.
Evidently, CISOs need to shift to more robust, modern ASM solutions to reduce cyber risk.
Getting the most value out of modern ASM
Not all solutions are built the same. Many vendors will cover the basic tenants of ASM: discovery, assessment, and mitigation. And while this a great first step, it’s not enough. Each step is nuanced and requires broad capabilities that shift security from reactive to proactive.
Rapid, continuous attack surface discovery
First, discovery identifies an organization’s devices, internet-facing assets, accounts, applications, and cloud assets that could provide entry points for cybercriminals. This requires total and real-time visibility, which is only possible if the solution integrates with third-party sources and scans across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid cloud environments continuously. Otherwise, you’re working with a limited view of your attack surface, leaving you in the same predicament as traditional ASM.
Real-time risk assessment and prioritization
Next: assessment. Some vendors might only provide point-in-time assessments instead of continuous and contextual evaluations. Sure, the number of alerts will be reduced, but it still leaves teams unsure of which risks need to be mitigated first, increasing the probability of a successful attack.
A strong ASM solution goes beyond simple assessment by prioritizing risk against several factors such as likelihood of an attack, possible impact of an outage, and asset criticality. Furthermore, the status of an organization’s software patches and any CVEs should be compiled, then compared against both local and global threat intelligence. For example, a vulnerability on a device in a private network is inherently less risky than a vulnerability on a public-facing web server. Therefore, if the CEO’s account is associated with the latter, the criticality of the asset and risk would be prioritized higher than the same vulnerability on a graphic designer’s account.
Proactive risk remediation and management
In turn, risk prioritization leads to faster mitigation. ASM solutions should provide teams with risk remediation suggestions across the attack surface, accelerating response actions and mitigating risk before the incident is realized. Bonus points if the solution can orchestrate and automate risk response across the enterprise. Et voila, you’ve shifted security from reactive to proactive.
Beyond the security benefits of ASM, the solution should empower CISOs to better and more confidently communicate risk with the board. Customizable dashboards and risk quantification reports allow CISOs to effectively demonstrate how security investments support and accelerate business goals. Money saved from devastating breach means more money invested in business initiatives. Some solutions can compare and benchmark risk against other organizations in their region and peer group to identify areas of concern and room for improvement. These competitor insights can be leveraged for further security investments because nothing is as motivating as besting the competition.
The platform approach
According to a Trend Micro study, 89% of respondents have plans to consolidate security products or switch to a platform in the near future. And for good reason: a platform approach is essential to reducing blind spots from disconnected security solutions and empowering security teams to make risk-based decisions.
Trend Vision One™ is built to unify policy management, attack surface risk management (ASRM), and detection and response capabilities across the enterprise. By consolidating security tools like XDR and ASRM, Trend Vision One can help organizations operationalize Zero Trust. Contextualized and cross-referenced data across security layers establish baselines of regular activity among devices, users, and network activity, which is key to the effectiveness of Zero Trust. These baselines enrich the asset’s profile, making it easier to investigate anomalies. Additionally, this information can be used to inform access control policies and risk management decisions.
Furthermore, Trend Vision One can automate and orchestrate workflows to enhance and augment security analysts’ efforts by speeding up standard operation procedures, removing manual steps, and enabling quick analysis and action such as vulnerability patching. According to ESG, 51% of organizations have improved threat detection as a result of automating security processes via playbooks.
Today’s attack surface challenges require modern approaches beyond piecemealed, inconsistent inventory. When you choose Trend Vision One™ Attack Surface Risk Management, you are choosing a solution with market-leading capabilities:
- Total visibility with automated, continuous external and internal attack surface discovery across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid-cloud environments
- Consolidated risk management capabilities like asset discovery, vulnerability prioritization, cloud security posture management (CSPM), and cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM).
- Ability to view and track unpatched vulnerabilities, system configuration, and user activity and behavior trends over time
- Contextualized risk assessments, analysis, and scoring to prioritize which assets pose the highest risk
- Ability to compare and benchmark risk score against other organizations in the same industry, region, or peer group
- Custom remediation recommendations based on the situational risk or threats
- Automated remediation actions across the attack surface
- Customizable dashboards and reporting for at-a-glance risk insights
To learn more about how Trend Micro can transform your cyber risk management practice with ASRM, click here.