With the growing heights of technology, we have digitized everything. Each piece of information including government data is stored digitally. Modern web applications are complex and have so many layers to it.
As much as we increase the security to protect these data there can be possible attacks made which can be vulnerable. Many software and technologies are being used for data protection and security exposure risk and Attack surface management is one of the security risk management systems.
What is an Attack Surface?
Attack surfaces can be defined as the loophole in your security controls that could lead to possible data loss or attack. It can also be explained as potential vulnerabilities control and control across all software, hardware, and network components. Attack surface targets on the attack touchpoints such as location and components as the target system to avoid security risks.
Types of Attack Surface
Ani surface that holds sensitive data, business data, identifiable information should be protected from attacks to prevent data loss.
Below given are the three main types of attack surfaces:
- Digital attack surface
- Physical attack surface
- Social attack surface or People
Digital attack surface
The more everything is being digitized the more chances or gateways for cyber attacks. Business in 2020 is extremely digitalized and there are about 6 billion devices connected to the network via laptops, smartphones, and other devices. Ani information that lies outside the firewall is prone to attack.
The digital attack surfaces include the following:
- Known and unknown assets
- Rogue assets
Known and unknown assets
Known assets include your business websites and servers. Unknown assets are also known as shadow assets which include forgotten websites or unknown software installations.
These can be the wireless devices connected to the assets that are not sanctioned by you but still impersonate to be your asset. The attack surfaces of today’s business are beyond predictable to the third party managed services.
And the number one device security attack is the Ransomware attack. Nowadays ransomware is also spread in a hybrid form which is one of the main reasons why we need cybersecurity and information security.
Potential vulnerabilities in digital attack surface:
- Open ports
- MITM attack
- Poor security on email
- Data leaks
- Vulnerable computer system
On the whole, any device which is exposed to the internet can be a digital attack threat.
Physical attack surface
Even if your devices are not connected to the internet, some risks can occur when someone (attacker) gets physical access to your device. Physical attack surface can be anywhere a person can get access to. For example, server rooms, offices, etc.
If the attacker gets physical access to the devices then they can get access to source code, to the database that contains sensitive information, install malicious software that is not detectable, or expose or sell sensitive data of your company.
Hence physical security systems like swipe bards, biometric is important to control physical security breach.
Social attack surface or people
People are often overlooked but the most dangerous source of anil attack surfaces. about 40% of security breaches can be attributed to being human error. Social target engineering is the number one threat to people which makes them leak or share confidential pieces of information.
Password policies and applications such as MFA which is multi-factor authentication should be set as a standard practice to avoid such attacks. What is attack surface analysis and why it is important?
Attack surface analysis is finding or mapping the parts of your system that can be vulnerable and needed to be reviewed and tested. It is understanding the risk areas in applications or software to know which part has to be secured and to find a way to minimize the attacks.
Attack surface analysis is done by security architects and penetration testers. But attack surface management software is the best way of analysis because it can continuously monitor any vulnerabilities found.
Attack surface analysis is important because it helps identify which functions and what part of the system you need to test for security or vulnerability. And also to identify risk areas of codes that need protection and to keep track of the security analysis details.
Importance of Attack surface management
AMS which abbreviated as Attack surface management is a continuous inventory, discovery, classification, and security monitoring of digital assets that contain or transmit sensitive data.
- Attack surface management is important because:
- It helps to prevent risks from Legaci, IoT, and shadow IT assets.
- It protects physical and social attack surfaces
- Prevents risks from vulnerable and outdated software and unknown open sources and property infringements.
- Rescues the risks of cyber attack
Timely identification of the digital asset is really important to prevent risks and threats and to reduce the threat of data breaches and leaks.