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How to Manage Your Attack Surface and Protect it Against the Latest Threats?

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To protect devices and systems, you must keep up with the latest threats in cyber security and have the tools that can safeguard all of your endpoint devices. 

Also, make sure that all the security points can protect the system against common attacks such as phishing and DDoS, and that all of the software (firewall, antimalware, etc.) you use works.

As your network gets more and more complex, you need to secure possible attack vectors within your system.

There are an increasing number of tools to manage and more alerts that IT teams have to pay attention to. 

As a result, the work can get overwhelming for your team. This is especially true if they don’t have the right tools to manage security or a bird’s eye view of the entire system.

Essentially, management of the attack surface gets more challenging as businesses grow and scale. 

One solution for scaling businesses is Attack Surface Management. How does it help cybersecurity teams to manage systems more efficiently and what are some of the latest threats that you should know about? 

Attack Surface Management in Three Steps

To manage the attack surface, it’s important to discover threats, analyze that data, and mitigate threats early. These three steps must be continually repeated while your team manages the attack surface.

Nowadays, there are tools that do this automatically and take a lot of legwork from your IT or cybersecurity team. 

Such tools automate the repetition of these steps so that teams don’t have to struggle while catching up with the latest changes and separating high-risk threats.

Your team is usually overwhelmed with constant alerts, many of which are false positives that they’ve learned to ignore. This increases the chance of them not mitigating threats and flaws within the system early.

 

  • Discovery 

 

The first step is discovery. It includes scanning for suspicious activity and possible threats in the system. Discovery aims to detect unauthorized access or to find any vulnerabilities that could lead to data breaches.

During this step, data is collected to categorize high-risk threats, misconfigurations, and organizational intelligence that could turn into a security risk.

Scanning is done for your entire system, and it includes all of your digital assets and organizational intelligence that could be used for social engineering attacks.  

 

  • Analysis 

 

The second step is analysis. The data of the attack surface is compared with the information that software has about your security. Once the analysis is complete, your team will get a report. 

The high-risk threats that they should take care of are highlighted and followed up with actionable advice about the next steps they can take to secure the network. 

By getting a comprehensive report of the high-risk threats instead of continuous alerts, they can focus on parts of your security and network that need patching up. 

That kind of approach decreases the number of mistakes of overworked teams that have to do everything manually. It helps them to prioritize the tasks that are important and cross off the most important things from their endless cybersecurity management to-do lists. 

 

  • Mitigation

 

The third step is mitigation. Threats must be removed before they can get into your system by the software that is installed to remove viruses or stop various online breaches.

Whether you have designated tools that automatically mitigate threats or your team has to do so manually, the goal here is to take care of the possible breaches and suspicious activity before they turn into incidents. The sooner the better.

An important part of mitigation is also patching up any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals. 

Latest Threats That Caused Concerns to Cybersecurity Teams

It may not be possible to predict all of the new ways that hackers will think up in order to exploit vulnerabilities in the system, but there are tools that can detect different patterns of behavior within your system.

Another way to combat new threats is by protecting the system from new threats that are described in the MITRE ATTACK framework. 

The MITRE ATTACK framework has been an invaluable resource for cyber security teams. The website is a library of all the latest methods and techniques that hackers have used to attack networks. 

Over the years, it has gathered a community of people, including individuals and organizations, who are concerned and interested in cybersecurity.

Besides describing the latest techniques and methods, IT teams and cybersecurity experts can find tried and true solutions — advice that shows just how to mitigate and manage new hacking threats.

For example, the downgrade attack is depicted in the MITRE as a technique during which cybercriminals downgrade your software to a less secure version. The solution for this type of attack is to remove any outdated version of tools from your devices.  

One of the latest threats that has been added to the list includes wiper malware. Wiper malware deletes (wipes) all of the data from discs without the chance to recover information that has been lost. Recently it has been used by Russian hackers to attack Ukraine.

Final Word

Every attack surface is unique because you use different endpoint devices and systems to run your business. Therefore, possible attack vectors that can be exploited by hackers will differ as well.

The key to strong cybersecurity is in the systematic management of your layered security points that are ready to detect and mitigate possible threats. 

Managing the attack surface is the cycle that involves the discovery of possible threats and vulnerabilities, analysis of the information, and mitigation of high-risk concerns before flaws or unwanted access turn into serious security incidents.  

As these three actions are on repeat, your system is continually being checked and protected against the latest threats such as wiper malware and downgrade attack.

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