The remote work environment and rising dependency on cloud solutions have left organizations vulnerable to expanded attack surface. Therefore, it is crucial for CISOs to establish effective enterprise attack surface management practices that ensure the robustness of the cybersecurity infrastructure and seamless continuation of business operations.
Sustaining and thriving in today’s hybrid and multi-connected enterprise environment requires organizations to continuously add new and innovative solutions to their infrastructure. However, the same new technology and interconnectedness have significantly expanded the attack surface of organizations. Therefore, CISOs should look for ways that enable them to reduce the number of associated vulnerabilities and establish a proper enterprise attack surface management program.
To build a robust attack surface management program requires CISOs to analyze operations to discover vulnerabilities in the infrastructure. This information enables them to develop a roadmap that, if appropriately executed across the network, systems and touch points of the organization, leads to a successful program.
Here are four best practices CISOs should keep in mind before developing an enterprise attack surface management.
Mapping out the attack surface
Before planning to build their defense strategy, CISOs should take time to understand which digital assets are exposed, where the threat actors are most likely to attack and what protections are needed. Hence, it is essential that they increase the attack surface visibility and build a strong representation of attack vulnerabilities. Additionally, CISOs should opt for predictive modeling to develop a realistic depiction of the possible events and their risks, further strengthening proactive and defense measures. This will not only enable them to know what type of financial loss they can expect but also how it will affect their organization’s reputation in the event of a cyber-attack.
After carefully mapping out the attack surface, CISOs should then consider taking initiatives to mitigate the risk posed by the most critical vulnerabilities and potential attack vectors before moving to a lower priority task. They should also focus on bringing assets offline where ever possible and strengthening internal and outward-facing networks. Furthermore, as most breaches are a result of human errors, CISOs should actively push for building awareness and training employees to minimize vulnerabilities.
Establishing rock-solid security practices and policies
As mentioned in the previous section, most of the attacks occur due to human errors. Therefore, alongside strong awareness programs, CISOs should ensure their team follows best security practices that are known to minimize the attack surface. It includes implementing intrusion detection solutions, conducting risk assessments, and putting effective policies in place. Moreover, they should make a habit of maintaining test backups of critical data and segmenting networks to minimize damage if a breach should occur.
Operating in silos and with the same practices makes it difficult for CISOs to identify and evaluate the strength of their attack surface management program. Even the best security teams need a fresh perspective when evaluating their enterprise attack programs. Hiring security auditors and analysts provides an insight to CISOs regarding attack vectors and vulnerabilities that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. Security auditors can also help in developing event management plans to deal with potential security breaches and attacks.
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