Attack Surface Reduction

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By Bill Minahan   |   January 6, 2020   |   2 Comments

What is an attack surface?

What is an attack surface? Why is attack surface reduction important?

An attack surface is the total number of different points at which an unauthorized user could enter your IT environment.

In cyber security, an attack surface applies to any location at which a bad actor could enter or extract data from your network.

If your organization has a large attack surface, then it means there are many points at which hackers can access your network. Unfortunately, the larger your attack surface, the more likely your organization is to experience a data breach or security incident.

Likewise, the larger your attack surface, the less secure your corporate data and intellectual property.

A network with a strong cyber security posture should have very few controlled access points.

Attack surface reduction

Attack Surface Reduction

Attack surface reduction is a cyber security best practice. The objective of attack surface reduction is to limit the total number of access points an unauthorized user can enter to harm your network.

Specifically, this is done by using cyber security tools to minimize the places where your organization is vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Keeping the attack surface as small as possible is a basic security measure that every organization should be partaking in.

How to reduce your attack surface

  • Get rid of any software or applications you do not use.
    • Often, we install applications and software on to our devices that we never use. If there are tools, applications, or software downloaded on your computer that you never use, get rid of them because they are making your attack surface larger. If you are only allowing essential applications on your devices, then you are effectively reducing your attack surface.
  • Scan your network.
    • You should run a vulnerability or compliance scan to visualize the vulnerabilities in your network. A vulnerability scanner identifies all the weaknesses in your network and sorts them by risk-level. Likewise, a compliance scan runs your network through whichever framework your organization is required to comply with. Then, it highlights the areas where certain regulations are not being met. Often, vulnerability and compliance scans highlight key points in your attack surface that need to be minimized.
  • Human error.
  • Take a cyber security assessment.
    • A cyber security assessment provides you with valuable insights into your organization’s cyber security posture. Furthermore, it can effectively highlight the points on your attack surface that pose the most critical threats. Similar to vulnerability and compliance scans, an assessment shows you which areas of your cyber security could be increasing your attack surface. Then, based on the insights, you can work towards reducing your attack surface.

Use our free cyber security assessment tool

aNetworks, Inc. offers a free cyber security assessment tool designed for businesses. Specifically, it is a 10-minute-questionnaire that identifies any vulnerabilities in your network.

As a result, it is an effective first step for organizations looking to reduce their attack surface. Our tool is free and provides automatic results and insights into your organization’s cyber security.

Reduce Your Attack Surface.

Otherwise, you can schedule a meeting with one of our leading security analysts to start the conversation about attack surface reduction.

Finally, you can always find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.




Comments

Bill Minahan

January 15, 2020 | 9:31 am

Thanks! I am an avid Scuba Diver and PADI IDCS Staff Instructor. Thanks for the comment and we are glad our content is providing value to you.

Cyprus Elpida

January 10, 2020 | 8:17 pm

We are a family run dive centre in Cyprus, we love your content.