Most organizations focus enormous efforts securing their internal environments. However, the exposed external attack surface requires equal attention, as this is how attackers initially access victims before pivoting internally. In this guide, we’ll explore how continuously monitoring your external attack surface needs to become a security priority.

Map All Internet-Exposed Assets

The first step is creating a comprehensive inventory of external facing systems like domains, networks, servers, services, cloud buckets, and applications. Traditional asset management tools only show internal assets, so specialized attack surface management platforms are required.

Attack surface analyzers like Pentest as a Service use combinations of active scans, crawling technology, and threat intelligence to build automated live maps of your exposed attack surface. This inventory becomes the foundation for ongoing monitoring.

Detect New or Misconfigured Assets

With an inventory established, attack surface monitoring can detect rogue exposures like domains registered without authorization, misconfigured cloud instances, or new ports opened by employees.

By alerting on any changes from the known good baseline, security teams can identify and mitigate emerging risks before attackers discover them. Integrate with IT workflows to automate remediation when deviations occur.

Assess Vulnerabilities Continuously

Map not just the presence of external assets but their security posture via continuous vulnerability scanning. Prioritize investigation for externally facing systems containing known vulnerabilities like unpatched servers.

Testing production assets typically requires using non-intrusive scanning techniques to avoid disruptions. Solutions like Randori and Intruder help find vulnerabilities in live environments safely.

Uncover Blind Spots Across Environments

Maintain comprehensive coverage across hybrid environments, from legacy network equipment to multiple cloud providers. Partnerships with security vendors like Microsoft and CrowdStrike bolster threat telemetry.

By correlating insights across internal and external data sources, you gain a unified view of cyber risk that spans environments. Eliminate blind spots that could be overlooked by siloed monitoring tools.

Quantify Changes in Cyber Risk

Analyze trends in your overall attack surface exposure to quantify whether cyber risk is increasing or decreasing over time. Factors like new domains, open ports, and detected exploits indicate heightened risk.

This empowers leadership discussions on risk using hard metrics versus subjective opinions. Make reducing attack surface exposure a tangible goal – for example, shrinking risk surface by 20%.

Continuous monitoring and mitigation of the external attack surface has become imperative as hybrid and cloud adoption expand organizational perimeters. Partner with our cybersecurity experts at DBGM to implement advanced attack surface management and harden your exterior defenses.

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