Friday 23rd June 2023

BLOG: Know Your Threats- Leveraging External Attack Surface Management for Cyber Defence

The expanding attack surface has subsequently and unsurprisingly caused an increase in the sophistication of malicious actors, organisations must adopt proactive strategies to defend their assets effectively.

One such strategy gaining prominence is the utilisation of External Attack Surface Management as a key pillar of cyber defence. It is important to explore the concept of external attack surface management and delve into its significance in bolstering organisational security.

By understanding the benefits and best practices associated with leveraging external attack surface man, organisations can strengthen their cyber defences and mitigate potential risks.

External attack surface management refers to the process of identifying, monitoring, and managing an organisation’s digital footprint visible to potential attackers. It encompasses all external-facing assets such as websites, applications, servers, cloud infrastructure, and employee accounts. External attack surface management aims to gain comprehensive visibility into these assets and evaluate their vulnerabilities, ultimately reducing the attack surface and minimising potential points of exploitation.

The significance of external attack surface management in cyber defence:

Proactive risk identification

External attack surface management allows organisations to proactively identify and assess potential risks associated with their external-facing assets. By continuously monitoring and analysing the attack surface, businesses can swiftly detect vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and potential entry points for attackers. This proactive approach enables timely mitigation before a breach occurs.

Improved vulnerability management


External attack surface management enables organisations to prioritise vulnerability management efforts based on real-time insights. By understanding the criticality and exposure levels of assets within the attack surface, businesses can allocate resources effectively, focusing on the most high-risk areas. This approach helps enhance the overall security posture and reduces the likelihood of successful cyberattacks.

Enhanced incident response


In the unfortunate event of a cyber incident, the external attack surface management provides valuable information for incident response teams. By maintaining an up-to-date inventory of external assets and their associated risks, responders can swiftly identify and isolate compromised systems, accelerating incident containment and minimising potential damage.

Best practices for effective external attack surface management implementation:

Comprehensive asset discovery: Begin by conducting a thorough inventory of all external-facing assets, including websites, applications, cloud instances, and third-party integrations. A complete understanding of the attack surface is essential for effective EASM.

Continuous monitoring and assessment: Implement robust monitoring solutions that provide real-time visibility into changes within the attack surface. Regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing can help identify weaknesses and validate the effectiveness of security controls.

Prioritise risk mitigation: Use the insights gained from EASM to prioritise vulnerability remediation efforts. Focus on addressing high-risk areas promptly while implementing a risk-based approach to vulnerability management.

As cyber threats continue to evolve, organisations must adopt a proactive and holistic approach to defend their digital assets effectively. External Attack Surface Management offers a valuable framework for identifying, assessing, and managing risks associated with external-facing assets. By leveraging EASM, businesses can fortify their cyber defences, minimise

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