How to Defend Your Organization’s Digital Attack Surface

What is an Attack Surface?

The digital attack surface is where hackers, threat actors or unauthorized users can exploit or compromise digital systems. The greater the digital footprint of any person or organization, the greater the digital risk and the greater attack surface and cyber risk. Enterprise digital risk increases as a result of an increased day-to-day dependency on digital systems and applications. Cyber risk increases as a result of a larger number of digital assets that must keep up proper configuration and defenses to mitigate cyber threats.

50%

of employees use applications not approved by their company

55%

of employees use shadow IT to purposely avoid enterprise security controls

Threat Actors Perform Digital Footprint & Attack Surface Surveillance

Using digital footprint information, threat actors with nefarious intent will analyze this information until he or she is confident they can develop a plan of attack to compromise your security without detection. From a threat actor’s view, this is a short list of examples of organizational digital footprint.

Website

  • Server Type
  • Server Version
  • Meta-Tags
  • Third-party Apps
  • Unique Identifiers

Network

  • Service Provider
  • IP Addresses
  • Devices
  • Open Ports
  • Device Banners
Monitor for malicious domain name registrations targeting your brand, employees and customers.

DNS

  • Registered Domains
  • Subdomains
  • CNAMES to Third-parties
  • WHOIS
  • Hostname/IP Address History

Social

  • Public Posts
  • Mentions
  • Apps
  • API Tokens
  • GPS/Place Tags

Who is Responsible for Protecting Organizational Digital Footprint?

The director of information security

Designing security operations and incident response.

A director of information security leads the design and operation security monitoring and improvement activities to ensure compliance with internal security policies and applicable laws and regulations. Footprint awareness is an essential defense to detect and mitigate exposures, breaches or lapses from a sprawling digital enterprise. Trying to understand where to start? Here’s an article on how to start reducing your attack surface.

Who Needs to Have an Inventory of Organizational Digital Footprint?

The information security analyst

Performing vulnerability assessments and penetration tests.

Information security analysts design, implement, monitor, and evaluate the security systems that protect an organization’s computer systems and data. In addition to being aware of the latest vulnerability intelligence, Information security analysts must understand total enterprise digital footprint to properly perform comprehensive vulnerability assessments and penetration tests.

The threat intelligence analyst

Understanding all the potentially exploitable assets in the organization.

A threat intelligence analyst collects and compile complex threat data from various sources, making an appropriate correlation on collected data, to protect the enterprise’s digital assets. Footprint awareness is an essential need for a threat analyst to understand all the potentially exploitable attack surface of the enterprise.

Defend Your Digital Footprint With DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout Tools™

The first line of digital defense is simply knowing what open source intelligence an attacker may find about your digital footprint, as well as what the attacker may be able to glean from that information. Once this information is identified, your security organization can determine if such information is benign or should be removed or altered. With DigitalStakeout Tools, search and analyze billions of data points from DNS data to analyze the external digital footprint of any domain, organization or network in simple to use web interface.

radar

DigitalStakeout Scout™

DigitalStakeout Scout is a tool for security and risk professionals to collect data from the surface web, social media, dark web and technical sources to illuminate external threats. It enables you to have visibility and control over the myriad of sources, content and events you have to collect, analyze and integrate into your existing security capabilities – so you can improve security resilience, response and compliance.

Start Protecting Your Attack Surface