An attack surface management platform is a software solution designed to help organizations identify, inventory, classify, prioritize, threat detection and vulnerability management, monitor network changes, and prevent unintentional exposure of external digital assets that could be vulnerable to cyber threats. By continuously analyzing and scanning an organization’s attack surface, these tools help to reduce the risk of breaches and ensure that the organization’s security posture remains strong.
The primary functions of an Attack Surface Monitoring tool include:
Discovery: ASM tools automatically discover and catalog an organization’s external digital assets. This includes web applications, domains, subdomains, IP addresses, cloud infrastructure, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and other connected systems that may be exposed to potential threats.
Inventory: After discovering external assets, ASM tools create an inventory, providing a comprehensive overview of an organization’s digital footprint. This inventory helps security teams identify and manage potential risk areas.
Classification: ASM tools classify discovered assets based on various criteria, such as their criticality, sensitivity, and potential impact on the organization if compromised. This classification helps security teams prioritize their efforts and allocate resources more effectively.
Prioritization: Based on the classification, ASM tools prioritize assets that require immediate attention, helping security teams focus on high-risk areas and address vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers.
Security Monitoring: ASM tools continuously monitor the organization’s attack surface for potential threats and vulnerabilities. They may integrate with other security solutions, such as vulnerability scanners and threat intelligence platforms, to provide real-time analysis and alerts on emerging risks.
And, what is Attack surface analysis and how does it work?
Attack surface analysis is a critical component of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. By systematically evaluating an organization’s digital assets, identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities, and implementing appropriate mitigation measures, security teams can reduce the likelihood of successful cyber attacks and minimize the potential impact of breaches.
Attack surface analysis is a systematic process of identifying, evaluating, and understanding the various entry points, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses that an attacker could exploit to compromise an organization’s digital assets. The primary goal of attack surface analysis is to reduce the organization’s exposure to cyber threats and improve its overall security posture.
The Attack surface analysis process typically involves the following steps:
- Asset Identification: The first step in attack surface analysis is to identify all digital assets associated with the organization. This includes servers, databases, web applications, network devices, cloud infrastructure, mobile devices, IoT devices, and any other connected systems.
- Mapping: After identifying the assets, they are mapped to visualize the organization’s attack surface. This can help security teams understand the relationships and dependencies between assets, as well as identify potential weak points in the infrastructure.
- Threat Modeling: Security teams analyze the attack surface to identify potential threats and threat actors that could target the organization. This includes assessing the likelihood of various attack vectors, as well as the potential impact on the organization if an attack were to occur.
- Vulnerability Assessment: Next, security teams scan the identified assets for known vulnerabilities using vulnerability scanners and other security tools. This helps in uncovering weaknesses and security flaws that could be exploited by attackers.
- Risk Analysis: After identifying threats and vulnerabilities, security teams perform a risk analysis to prioritize assets and vulnerabilities based on their potential impact on the organization. This helps in determining which issues need immediate attention and allows for more effective allocation of resources.
- Mitigation Strategies: Based on the risk analysis, security teams develop and implement mitigation strategies to address the identified vulnerabilities and reduce the attack surface. This can involve patching vulnerable software, implementing security controls, hardening systems, and conducting employee training on security best practices.
- Continuous Monitoring: As the organization’s attack surface evolves over time, continuous monitoring is essential to maintain an up-to-date understanding of potential risks. Security teams should regularly review and update their analysis, ensuring that new assets are accounted for and emerging threats are addressed promptly.
5 Best Attack Surface Monitoring Vendors Tools 2023
- Manage Engine Vulnerability Manager Plus
- Intruder Attack Surface Monitoring (14-day Free Trial)
- Qualys external attack surface management
- Nessus external attack surface scanning
- Microsoft defender attack surface management
Manage Engine Vulnerability Manager Plus
ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus consolidates all aspects of vulnerability management into a single solution, encompassing everything from vulnerability assessment to patching, managing network endpoint security configurations, and fortifying externally exposed web servers, all accessible from a centralized dashboard.
ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus is a comprehensive vulnerability assessment and management solution that offers organizations the ability to identify, analyze, and remediate security vulnerabilities in their networks, applications, and devices. Based on user reviews from Gartner, this review highlights the strengths and potential areas for improvement of this product.
One of the major strengths of ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus is its ease of use. Users appreciate the simple and intuitive interface, which makes it easy to navigate and manage vulnerability scans. The dashboard provides a clear and concise overview of the organization’s security posture, enabling security teams to quickly identify and prioritize vulnerabilities.
- Vulnerability Assessment: The tool scans network devices, servers, and applications for known vulnerabilities, helping organizations identify and remediate security weaknesses.
- Patch Management: ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus automates the process of detecting and deploying patches for various operating systems and applications, keeping systems up-to-date and reducing the risk of security breaches.
- Web Server Hardening: The solution assesses the security configurations of web servers and provides recommendations for hardening them against potential attacks, ensuring that internet-facing web servers are secure.
- IT Security Configuration Management: This feature enables organizations to maintain and enforce consistent security configurations across their network endpoints, reducing the attack surface and improving overall security posture.
- High-Risk Software Auditing: ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus identifies and reports on high-risk software installed within the network, enabling organizations to take appropriate action to mitigate the associated risks.
- Customizable Reporting and Dashboards: The solution provides customizable reports and dashboards, giving security teams a comprehensive view of their organization’s security posture and enabling them to make informed decisions.
- Integration with Other ManageEngine Products: ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus integrates seamlessly with other ManageEngine tools, enhancing the overall security ecosystem and streamlining workflows.