Map, monitor and manage your attack surface to stay a step ahead
By Stijn Vande Casteele, Founder and CEO, Sweepatic
All organizations rely heavily on web presence to display their brand and/or products, reach their audience and streamline their processes. They deploy assets connected to the internet to achieve these goals. The benefits of the cloud, marketing websites and online services are obvious, but there are risks associated with any online presence. So, it becomes important to evaluate to what extent your organization is at risk of an attack by cybercriminals. That starts with understanding what your online presence consists of, also known as your attack surface. How can you make your attack surface as small, flexible and secure as possible?
The Sweepatic Platform helps you strengthen the cyber resilience of your organization by not giving cybercriminals a real chance. People with malicious motivations will not be able to access your information if your “cyber doors” are closed. How can you approach that in concrete terms?
- Be aware of your attack surface
Only when you understand the breadth and depth of your online presence you can really evaluate the risks your organization runs. An attack surface changes and grows continuously, which makes it hard and complex to have an up-to-date overview in real time.
For example, the Sweepatic Platform automatically and exhaustively scans the attack surface for vulnerabilities or CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures). Sweepatic verifies email security settings which will prevent fraudulent or phishing emails sent in the name of an organization. Websites are verified against a list of configuration and encryption best practices. New cloud-based applications deployed with default and insecure settings are detected within days.
By keeping an eye on your attack surface, such risks can be avoided. The Sweepatic Platform discovers the full extent of your attack surface 24×7 and assesses in which areas you can remove targets for cyberattacks. You can slim down your attack surface in three concrete ways:
- Websites and domain names
Keep an up-to-date view of which hosts your organization uses and manage them efficiently. You do this by updating your configurations, keeping an eye on which web applications are running and carefully handling where exactly you store and share confidential information. This provides you with an overview of which internet-facing assets – that no longer serve a business justification – to take offline or of where precisely you can improve your attack surface security.
After all, what is not there, cannot be hacked.
- External providers
Nowadays, not all IT passes through or is managed by the IT department, let alone IT security. Are you aware of what is put online? Do you know exactly which external providers your organization uses? Not only is it safer to limit this group, it will likely save you monthly subscription fees as well.
- Shadow IT
Shadow IT refers to the digital parts of an organization that people do not know about. This is caused by rapid digitization or due to inaccuracies during updates and adjustments. Shadow IT can add to costs and create an insecure cluster of online traces that can lead cybercriminals to your organization.
- Increase your resilience through attack surface hygiene
The Sweepatic Platform provides visibility, tracks your digital assets, and analyzes issues in your attack surface by priority. Primary domains, subdomains, IP addresses, subnetworks, DNS records and locations are discovered and analyzed structurally and systematically. This way you will quickly discover dubious and/or unknown elements of your digital footprint.
- Tackle risks in a smart way
You can get started reducing your risk right away with the actionable information that the Sweepatic Platform provides. In addition, implementing following approaches in your organization helps you build cyber resilience in a sustainable way.
To thoroughly understand your attack surface, it is not enough to perform a one-time exercise. An attack surface and its risk exposure changes every day; technologies can become outdated, website certificates can expire, etc. Keep an eye continuously and in a structured way to ensure a real-time overview of all hosts and web applications that you use, for example.
- More automation
Many cyber security tasks are repetitive. Rely on technology, such as machine learning algorithms, to perform these types of tasks. Less human error, speed and more scale are just some of the benefits of automated solutions, like the Sweepatic Platform. One of the biggest advantages is that you can use the talents of your scarce specialists to focus on other tasks to make your organization stronger in other ways.
- Less complexity
By keeping an eye on your attack surface, you can continuously assess where to slim down your organization digitally and to simplify systematically. Keep asking yourself the question: “How can we renew in a way that is safe, efficient and sustainable?”. The Sweepatic Platform supports this by giving you the insights that help you stay in control.
- Get started with Sweepatic
Contact us and we will help you get started right away. With a personalized demo you will get a first impression of the security and online presence of your company. We will tell you more about which concrete steps you can take and which are priority actions.
About the Author
Stijn Vande Casteele is the Founder and CEO of Sweepatic. He is an entrepreneur and seasoned cyber security professional with 19 years of experience. Stijn gained industry recognition based on his business insights and by coaching and steering several teams in successfully creating, delivering and operating enterprise enabled cyber security solutions for large organizations like NATO, BNP Paribas, Proximus and Deloitte. He is now fully focused on successfully scaling Sweepatic into a renowned cyber security business.