Building Resilient Security with Attack Surface Management

Security teams have too much work and too little time. This is top of mind for security operations center (SOC) leads, so the aim of a SOC lead is often to reduce manual processes, ensure security teams are armed with full visibility of assets and risks, and build resilience through automation.

Unfortunately, achieving these tasks is made much more difficult with modern attack surfaces, which are changing and complex. Assets can live on premises, in the cloud, or co-located in multiple places. Assets can literally move around the world from network to network as remote workers travel. New cloud assets can be created in minutes by any employee and outside of security processes. Even third-party vendors and partners can have exposures that affect your network. 

Manual processes and point-in-time assessments cannot keep up with the dynamic nature of modern attack surfaces, so the resulting inventory will be error-prone and quickly out of date. An incomplete asset inventory means unknown risks, but it also means other security products and processes that rely on a comprehensive asset inventory will be impacted. 

Vulnerability scanners and antivirus/antimalware products are limited to scanning only known assets. Similarly, penetration testing and other red team activities run into scoping problems if there are a lot of unknowns on an attack surface. Knowing your assets is foundational to these operations. 

Additionally, when an unknown asset is discovered under these circumstances, it triggers a manual investigation to determine if there is an exposure, the urgency of the threat, and who would be responsible for remediating the issue.

Building a Resilient SOC with ASM

There is a better way. Imagine an agentless solution that can automatically provide an attacker’s view of your attack surface that is continuously updated to ensure constant discovery and monitoring of all internet-connected assets. 

This means a single source of truth for all assets and exposures so software and personnel aren’t working from an incomplete view of your attack surface. And, it means having a system of record that can be used to build resiliency into security operations. 

Cortex Xpanse customers find, on average, 35% more assets than they were previously tracking. That’s a lot of unknowns, but with Xpanse each one of those discoveries comes complete with context data including the software running on it, potential exposures or vulnerable software, and information on who owns the asset. 

That information can be the foundation for security processes and automation with a security orchestration automation and response product like Cortex XSOAR

Automating tasks means less human effort for scoping, monitoring, and investigating threats, any newly discovered assets or exposures can automatically be routed to the relevant stakeholders for remediation, and scans and penetration testing efforts are optimized with full visibility into assets. 

Learn more about attack surface management and how it can help your organization find unknown risks, speed up the time to detect exposures, and increase remediation efficiency, download The SOC Guide to ASM today.

Additionally, check out our other ASM guides: