5 Best Attack Surface Management Vendors

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.

5 Best Attack Surface Monitoring (ASM) Vendors 2024

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.

Features:

  • 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.

Intruder Attack Surface Monitoring (14-day Free Trial)

Qualys External Attack Surface Management (EASM)

Nessus external attack surface scanning

Microsoft defender attack surface management

What Is Attack Surface Management 5-Step ASM Process?

Discover Assets

The attack surface management process of Discovering Assets is about identifying all possible attack vectors within an organization. It involves a comprehensive mapping of both internal and external digital assets.

  • Internal Assets: These include servers, databases, applications, and endpoints such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices.
  • External Assets: These encompass cloud infrastructure, websites, social media accounts, third-party applications, and any other digital presence accessible from the outside.

Classify and Prioritize

In this phase, the identified assets are classified and prioritized based on various criteria. This helps in focusing security efforts where they are most needed.

  • Criticality: Evaluating how essential each asset is to the organization’s operations.
  • Vulnerability: Assessing how exposed each asset is to potential attacks.
  • Data Sensitivity: Considering the type of data stored and processed by the asset.

Assess and Test

This step involves evaluating the security posture of your assets to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

  • Vulnerability Scanning: Using tools to identify known vulnerabilities in systems and software.
  • Penetration Testing: Actively simulating cyberattacks to test the resilience of the systems.
  • Attack Surface Monitoring: Continuously monitoring for new vulnerabilities and suspicious activities.

Remediate and Patch

Once vulnerabilities are identified, this phase focuses on addressing and fixing these security gaps.

  • Patching Software: Updating software to incorporate the latest security patches.
  • Configuring Security Settings: Adjusting settings to strengthen the security of the systems.
  • Disabling Unused Services: Removing unnecessary services to minimize potential entry points for attackers.

Monitor and Report

ASM is a continuous process that requires ongoing vigilance. This phase focuses on the regular monitoring and reporting of the attack surface.

Key Aspects of Selecting an External Attack Surface Management Vendor Tool

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): Using advanced tools to collect and analyze security-related data.
  • Threat Intelligence: Keeping abreast of emerging threats and adapting defenses accordingly.
  • Regular Reporting: Keeping internal stakeholders informed about the state of the organization’s cyber defenses.
  • Integration with Incident Response: ASM should be closely integrated with an organization’s incident response plan. This ensures that when vulnerabilities are exploited, the response is swift and effective.
  • Stakeholder Education: Educating other stakeholders in the organization about the importance of ASM and their role in maintaining security is vital. This can help in fostering a culture of security awareness.
  • Compliance and Legal Considerations: It’s important to align ASM activities with legal and regulatory requirements, ensuring that compliance is maintained.
  • Use of Automation and AI: Leveraging automation and AI in ASM can help in managing large and complex attack surfaces more efficiently, especially in identifying and responding to threats in real-time.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Attack Surface Management Tools FAQs

These FAQs provide a basic understanding of ASM tools and their role in cybersecurity. They highlight the importance of these tools in modern digital security strategies

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