Evolution is one of the epitome of the saying that solutions create new problems. Digitization is growing exponentially as more personal and business activity goes online, and there is ever-growing cloud Adoption, work from home, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc. All of these solutions come with new problems – an increased attack surface.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines Attack Surface as “The set of points on the boundary of a system, a system element, or an environment where an attacker can try to enter, cause an effect on, or extract data from, that system, system element, or environment.” i.e., the sum of all points across your system an attacker can exploit.
As the attack surface widens, adequate management becomes more critical in stopping cyber attacks. In this post, we will discuss the following:
- What is attack surface management (ASM)?
- What is attack surface management made up of?
- Who uses it?
- How to choose an ASM solution
After discussing the basics, we will review the top nine ASM solutions.
What is attack surface management?
Attack surface management encompasses the processes, procedures, and methods used to continually detect, classify, map, and analyze the security status of your entire digital environment – networks, devices, data, systems, etc. Attack surface management enables an organization’s to effectively and constantly protect itself against malicious attacks.
What is the attack surface made up of?
The Attack surface is divided into three main components
a. Physical Attack Surface
The physical attack surface contains your organization’s entire IT environment hardware, that is, the set of all security vulnerabilities allowing physical access, such as servers, workstations, mobile devices, routers, switches, etc.
Physical attack surface includes both business-owned and employees’ devices used for work and can be exploited by insider threats such as employees, intruders, stolen devices, etc.
b. Social Attack Surface
Social attack surface, or social engineering attack surface, refers to all the potential entry points that might be exploited via social engineering techniques such as phishing attacks. In other words, all the individuals with access to your systems can be targets of social engineering attacks – employees, partners, vendors, etc.
Since humans are often the weakest link in your organization’s security, cybersecurity awareness training is considered the first line of defense and one of the essential elements in any business cybersecurity arsenal.
c. Digital Attack Surface
The digital attack surface includes all your digital systems and assets, such as websites, cloud servers, databases, applications, vendors/contractors’ digital assets, etc. Many enterprises today have countless digital assets and are migrating to the cloud; digital attack surface extends far beyond local premises and is susceptible 24/7 to attacks from all over the world.
Who uses attack surface management software, and how to choose a solution?
The answer to the first question is short and straightforward – any enterprise that handles some sort of sensitive data should use attack surface management software.
There can be severe legal and financial consequences of non-compliance with mandatory data security standards, including:
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
- The New York Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (SHIELD Act)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
Such consequences can include fines, exposure to legal suits, loss of necessary licenses, and even shutdown. Attack surface management software strengthens your security and helps achieve compliance and avoid such dangers.
The answer to the second question is more complex, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, there are some crucial points to consider when choosing an attack surface management tool, such as:
- The extent of the automatic discovery of known and unknown digital assets and flexible scalability with perimeter size.
- The extent, quality, and clarity of dashboards, reporting tools, and remediation actions suggested.
- False positives rate.
- Communication and collaboration between individuals, teams, departments, and partners.
Top 9 Attack Surface Management Solutions
Here are the top nine attack surface management solutions.
Pentera is an automated security validation platform that enables enterprises to test the integrity of all their cybersecurity layers and current security exposures. It gives them the remediation roadmap they need to reduce cybersecurity exposure. Pentera uses an algorithm to scan and ethically attack networks, providing real-time penetration tests. It safely imitates malicious actions such as reconnaissance, harmless malware insertion, privilege escalation, and more.
Who are Pentera’s target customers?
Security professionals can use the platform to remediate and close security gaps before they are exploited proactively.
- Proactively and efficiently testing networks.
- Vulnerability data is mapped to the MITRE ATT&CK Framework and the OWASP Top 10.
- It’s relatively weak in performing attacks from external networks.
Customer review: “Elevates human error, from lack of knowledgeable of constantly changing threats. The best part, after deployment it proactively and efficiently test your network, applications in Global Enterprise! A new innovative approach will be resisted.”
2. Digital Shadows Searchlight
Digital Shadows SearchLight helps businesses to reduce digital risk and protects against external threats. The system continually identifies where your assets are exposed and then provides context helping to understand the risk and suggest options for remediation.
Who are Digital Shadows Searchlight’s target customers?
Security teams who need help in managing external digital risks for their business.
Easily integrated with your other security tooling.
Dark web search and monitor capabilities are lacking.
Customer review: “Digital Shadows provides great insights and tailored information specific for my organization based on what it observes in the clear, deep, and dark web.”
3. UpGuard BreachSight
UpGuard is a vulnerability management solution that helps detect data exposures, control third-party risks, and provides cybersecurity risk management that helps organizations prevent data breaches. The platform combines security ratings, security assessment questionnaires, and vendor risk management. UpGuard’s risk assessment workflows enable organizations to automate security questionnaires, automatically mapping the identified risks.
Who are UpGuard BreachSight’s target customers?
It was designed for IT security teams in businesses of all sizes.
- An intuitive and friendly UI.
- Provides a screenshot of all the findings in the summary of the detection.
- The built-in ticketing system could be improved.
- Some features are missing, such as malware traffic.
- The rating of risks and vulnerabilities methodology should be more open and transparent.
Customer review: “Upguard was able to give us insight immediately into our online profile and identify our cyber risk. More importantly, how potential customers and or partners could view our business and online reputation.”
Randori is an attack surface management solution aimed at bringing clarity to enterprises’ cyber risks. The solution automatically scans services, IPS, domains, networks, and more for ransomware and other attacks.
Who are Randori’s target customers?
Organizations of all sizes.
- Automatic tagging of all assets.
- The tool explains an asset’s risk and how to resolve the issue.
- Quick and easy to get started.
- The system’s interface could be more clear.
- The messaging to other team members is lacking.
Customer review: “Easy to use. Interface could use some changes to make it more intuitive, but all information is available.”
CybeReady is a holistic security awareness training platform focused on strengthening one of the biggest attacks surface – your employees. The platform easily creates and conducts engaging and effective security training. CybeReady’s platform is data-driven and has advanced automation. It is designed to transform your organization from security awareness to cyber readiness. The platform works autonomously and measures progress with KPIs, thus improving your employee’s cyber security skills while requiring minimum effort from your cyber security team.
Who are CybeReady’s target customers?
Enterprises of all sizes. Targeted Role: CISO, CIO, Awareness Lead, Security Analyst, Infosec Managers, IT Security, Compliance Managers, Risk Specialist.
- CybeReady is easy to use and highly automated, allowing employees to train with minimum effort.
- The quality of the phishing simulations is excellent many of them mimic real-world attacks
- The platform is industry agnostic and highly customized.
- There are less comprehensive solutions which can be cheaper.
Customer review: “Cybeready is exactly what we needed! The whole experience has been positive from the initial sales demo through to purchase and deployment, but more importantly they have continued to be supportive and responsive to our needs and challenges. Great technology and a strong team behind the product. Given that phishing and Business Email Compromise is a threat to all businesses, Cybeready has been a great investment and I would recommend it to any business, regardless of size. I’ve used other phishing simulation and security training platforms for a number of years. They have one thing in common: they all take too much time to manage. CybeReady is just the opposite. It was so easy to configure with the help of their support engineer and we only need to log in weekly to review the stats. It truly is autonomous. The quality of the phishing simulations is excellent. Lots of variety and many of them replicate real-world attacks. The platform is very easy to use and support has been great.
SpectralOps is a cybersecurity solution that uses a scanning engine, AI, and multiple detectors to detect harmful security errors in systems’ code, configurations, and artifacts. The solution classifies and protects assets such as codebases and logs and also monitors elements such as API keys, tokens, credentials, and high-risk security misconfiguration.
Who are SpectralOps’s target customers?
The tool is best suited for developers and DevOps.
- Easy to set up and use.
- Good integration.
- Some UI elements cannot be customized.
Customer review: “Spectral is easy to set up and use, and it provides valuable insights into sensitive issues. The reports can be better, with more options to slice & dice the issues.”
7. OWASP Zed Attack Proxy
OWASP ZAP is a free, open-source web application security scanner. It is designed to help developers and testers conduct real-time penetration testing, thus locating vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The system can perform security assessments and aims to exploit known cyber threats and identify already known vulnerabilities, then reports those with any potential use to malicious users.
Who are OWASP ZAP’s target customers?
It is adapted to developers and businesses that want to test web-based applications.
- Free, open-source tool.
- Product reporting could be improved, for example, in report customizations.
Customer review: “What I really like about owasp zap is the organization of results for example when you scan your own website for vulnerabilities it gives you exactly where the problem is and gives you even what exploit can the hackers do to exploit your website, and the flags show you the importance of the risks which is extremely awesome I used this tool for many years in cybersecurity purposes, and it is really awesome. What I like the least about it is that sometimes it takes a lot of time scanning, but I can understand that it is for precision, and that is awesome”.
CyCognito is a cloud-based external attack surface management SaaS platform. It uses bots and other reconnaissance methods to constantly scan, classify and map digital assets while automatically identifying, enumerating, and prioritizing security risks in a way that mimics real attackers. It is designed to assist organizations in monitoring and remediating risks across their assets.
Who are CyCognito’s target customers?
Organizations of all sizes.
- Good User interface.
- Strong core attack surface management features
- Relatively new and needs to reach a state of maturity.
- Global search needs improvement.
Customer review: “Great vendor to add to your security stack! Top quality technology stack which allows my company to real-time view whats happening around the world with our attack surface. prior to cycognito we never had visibility like this even though we use other scanning solutions.”
Reflectiz is a non-intrusive SaaS solution that detects and mitigates security threats, mainly web-based attack surfaces that are introduced by third-party applications. The solution maps and displays all the external applications used on your website, third party, and beyond, ensuring data privacy and regulatory compliance.
Who are Reflectiz’s target customers?
It best suits Financial Services, Retail, eCommerce, Hospital & Health Care, Travel & Tourism.
- Integrated compliance solution.
- Limited to client-side-based attack surface.
Customer review: “Very simple UI and understanding of risk in web applications. Not implemented yet on ios and android apps. Truly understand the risks in 3rd parties implemented in our own websites, full view of possible PII leakage by 3rd parties applications.”
Attack surface protection with CybeReady
As the attack surface grows, its management becomes more critical, and so does employing the best-suited ASM solutions. Most solutions deal with physical and digital attack surfaces. However, the social attack surface is becoming ever-crucial as more people work from home and use mobile devices as a daily part of their business routine.
Contact CybeReady to improve your ASM by using an effective, efficient, automatic training platform.