Spectral now part of Check Point’s CloudGuard to provide the industry’s most comprehensive security platform from code to cloud Read now

Top 8 Attack Surface Management Solutions for 2022

By David Balaban February 9, 2022

The flip side of ubiquitous digital transformation and increased reliance on remote work due to the pandemic is that malicious actors get more opportunities to strike. Security perimeters are no longer distinct, and the range of potentially vulnerable enterprise assets is dynamically swelling.

As a result, companies big and small are sailing into the perfect storm of cybercrime. Ransomware raids, data breaches, supply chain attacks, and phishing scams have skyrocketed over the past two years and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

According to security analysts’ recent findings, at least half of all reported cyberattacks on organizations originated from an unknown or crudely managed asset. To emerge unscathed, businesses need to know what components of their digital postures are the most enticing when put through the prism of an attacker’s mindset. Such visibility is key to hardening the sensitive areas.

This is where attack surface management solutions kick in. Both traditional industries and digital-to-the-bone DevOps environments can get a lot of mileage out of such services. That being said, let’s dive into the fundamentals of their operation and the benefits they provide.

What Is an Attack Surface?

An attack surface is the entirety of an organization’s Internet-facing digital assets that may be exploited as entry points in a cyberattack. These entities run the gamut from hardware, applications, software as a service (SaaS) deployments, and cloud resources – to websites, subdomains, IP addresses, social media accounts, and vendors’ infrastructures.

Framing this multitude of assets as an easily discoverable and clear-cut ecosystem is a fallacy. Known assets are only the tip of the iceberg. There tend to be troves of attacker-exposed items that companies are clueless about.

Some of them, such as abandoned microsites and applications, stem from shadow IT and phased-out technologies that are still in use across an organization. Merger and acquisition (M&A) scenarios are catalysts for the emergence of uninventoried subsidiary assets, too.

Furthermore, numerous enterprises now hinge on the remote work model to survive the pandemic-borne crisis and stay competitive. This leads to an increase in hard-to-supervise devices operating beyond the security perimeter.

The booming use of IoT in the workplace and production facilities poses an extra challenge. The likes of Internet-enabled security cameras, motion sensors, smart HVAC controls, and voice-based digital assistants propel various aspects of making business, but many of them are ridiculously easy to compromise.

All these nuances make it difficult to accurately inventory and stay current with the attack surface, even more so in light of the ever-reshaping territory of corporate assets. With the right approach in place, though, it’s not an unfeasible objective.

What is Attack Surface Management?

Attack surface management (ASM) is a set of practices aimed at discovering, categorizing, and evaluating the security condition of an organization’s assets. As a general rule, it spans the following four components:

  1. Identification of all on-premises and cloud-based assets whose vulnerabilities can fuel cyberattacks.
  2. Classification of these areas based on their susceptibility to compromise and the scope of damage that would entail from a breach.
  3. Prioritization of high-risk segments and remediation of the associated flaws.
  4. Constant monitoring of the attack surface for new security gaps.

Importantly, ASM is a continuous, systematic process that enables proactive defenses against various forms of exploitation. It provides precious all-embracing visibility of an organization’s assets so that security teams know exactly what to safeguard. These hallmarks make it a critical building block of a holistic security strategy and DevSecOps done right.

What Are Attack Surface Management (ASM) Solutions?

The major caveat in terms of asset discovery is that a view from the inside of a corporate security perimeter doesn’t give you a complete picture of what needs to be protected. The only genuinely informative reconnaissance approach is to follow an external adversary’s train of thought. An attack surface management solution worth its salt can bridge the gap.

Source: https://socradar.io/whats-attack-surface-management-absolute-beginner-guide/

In addition to identifying infrastructure elements that lay in plain sight, the tool automatically pinpoints all the unknowns, including shadow IT, M&A artifacts, IoT devices, cloud footprints, as well as rogue assets like typosquatted domains, malware, and proprietary data leaked on the dark web.

ASM rates the discovered assets according to a relevant risk scoring system to help prioritize the fixes. This assessment also points security teams in the right direction with implementing extra protection-hardening mechanisms, such as network segmentation, role-based access control (RBAC), or the “zero trust” security model.

Why DevSecOps Needs ASM

To maintain the CI/CD pipeline, DevSecOps deployments spawn new IP addresses, servers, and public code repos that sink into oblivion after project completion. ASM helps keep a record of these abandoned assets and alerts distributed development crews to the risk that emanates from them. This is a prerequisite for shifting security as far left as possible in the software engineering workflow.

Most attack surface management tools scour popular code repositories, such as GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket for long-forgotten data that threat actors might weaponize. They also look for credentials, private keys, and other sensitive information exposed on Amazon S3 buckets as well as publicly accessible FTP and RSync servers.

Besides data exposures on the open and deep web, ASM can reveal documented vulnerabilities and code misconfigurations that may turn applications into low-hanging fruit. This tactic prevents technical debt from accumulating, which poses a hard-to-overestimate benefit in the context of DevSecOps.

How to Choose an Attack Surface Management Solution?

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all ASM tool. The right solution has to be well suited to your company’s needs while providing all the generic features. Therefore, a crucial element of the decision-making process is to figure out if the following criteria are met:

  • Comprehensive automated discovery of digital assets (both known and unknown);
  • Extensive reporting and actionable insights rather than bare-bone data extraction;
  • Prioritization of assets based on “attackability” and post-exploitation scenarios;
  • Asset tagging options;
  • A real cybercriminal’s perspective;
  • Custom addition of new assets;
  • Availability of an API and ready-to-go integrations with SIEM and DevOps tools like Jira, Jenkins, HipChat, and Slack;
  • Dashboards that are easy to use and interpret;
  • Low false positives rate;
  • Flexible scalability with perimeter size;
  • Continuous operation with little to no user interaction;
  • Collaboration options for security teams and other departments.

Best Attack Surface Management Solutions for 2022

1. Randori

If the precision of identifying, mapping, and contextualizing your org’s attack surface is front and center, then Randori Recon is your best bet. It is a mature product boasting automatic asset discovery from the attacker’s perspective. The solution prioritizes your digital resources using the innovative Target Temptation system so that you know what to protect first.

Source: https://www.scmagazine.com/product-test/attack-surface-mgmt/sw-labs-review-randori-recon

Pros:

  • Spots exposed IPv4, IPv6, and cloud resources with immaculate accuracy;
  • Automatic tagging of corporate assets;
  • Explains why an asset is risky and how to resolve;
  • Quick and easy to get started.

Cons:

  • The dashboard could use some polishing toward greater intuitiveness;
  • Missing option to leave notes for other team members;
  • Somewhat unproportioned focus on hostnames and IPs. 

Pricing: Depends on company size.

2. SpectralOps

For many development teams, being able to concentrate entirely on writing code is wishful thinking. Blind spots, configuration slip-ups, exposed credentials, and vulnerable infrastructure components create too much noise to stay on task. With SpectralOps close at hand, IT professionals don’t have to go the extra mile assessing the software development lifecycle (SDLC) for security gaps.

The solution leverages AI to automatically monitor, categorize, and protect assets throughout the CI/CD routine. It identifies exploitable API keys, credentials, tokens, secrets, and misconfigurations in real time; detects supply chain loopholes and proprietary code across multiple public sources; and gives you the freedom to build custom detectors and enforce your own mitigation policies.

The platform is programming language-neutral, supports more than 500 stacks, and boasts a competitive list of integrations with popular dev services, including Azure DevOps, AWS CodeBuild, Jenkins, and CircleCI.

In the event of a data breach attempt, SpectralOps instantly gives your crews a heads-up via Slack, Jira, or another notification service of your choice so that you can forestall the worst-case scenario. By and large, it’s an unrivaled tool to take your DevSecOps to the next level and keep it that way.

Source: https://docs.spectralops.io/

Pros:

  • Easy to set up;
  • Fast scans;
  • Developer-friendly UI with intuitive hive view visualizations;
  • Hassle-free integrations;
  • Commendable customer support;
  • No noise.

Cons:

  • Customization is a little confusing.

Pricing: Company-specific. A free trial is available.

3. Coalfire Attack Surface Management

Although this risk-based ASM tool has only been around since April 2021, it already has a decent track record of unveiling and monitoring companies’ external-facing assets. Backed by Coalfire’s two decades of background in risk management and penetration testing, it combines a complete spectrum of services to find weak links in on-premises and cloud infrastructure segments, classify the detected vulnerabilities in terms of visibility and ownership, prioritize them, and oversee remediation efforts.

What sets Coalfire Attack Surface Management aside from counterparts is that it involves human validation of a customer’s security posture, whereas asset tracking and monitoring are fully automated. Among other things, the solution is a good choice for regulatory compliance.

Source: https://www.coalfire.com/solutions/threat-and-vulnerability-management/attack-surface-management

Pros:

  • Comprehensive reports;
  • Provides guidance on how to address specific vulnerabilities;
  • Vendor’s long-running expertise in adjacent security areas;
  • Great customer support.

Cons:

  • Relatively new product;
  • Occasional false positives.

Pricing: Depends on the scope of a customer’s infrastructure.

4. UpGuard

UpGuard stands out from the crowd in several ways. In addition to delivering the classic set of ASM features, it’s equipped with a revolutionary data leak discovery engine that crawls the open and deep web for data surreptitiously exfiltrated from a customer’s ecosystem, including credentials and identity documents. Another perk is the one-of-a-kind risk scoring and security ratings system that uses battle-tested proprietary algorithms to evaluate the state of an org’s digital posture several times a day.

Source: https://www.upguard.com/product/breachsight

Pros:

  • Reputable product;
  • Gives a comprehensive vision of an IT infrastructure;
  • API for seamless integrations.

Cons:

  • Risk scores may fluctuate dramatically after algorithm updates;
  • The UI is a little hard for new users to get the hang of.

Pricing: Annual subscription is worth $5,249 (Basic plan for small businesses); $15,749 (Starter plan); $36,749 (Professional); $83,999 (Corporate).

5. SearchLight – Digital Risk Protection Software

Built around a real attacker’s outside-in perspective, SearchLight efficiently detects data leaks, impersonated domains, exposed sensitive code, vulnerabilities, misconfigured devices, open ports, certificate issues, and other exploitable entities. It is also exceptionally good at dark web monitoring and threat intelligence, including vendor infrastructure screening, exploit monitoring, and malicious actor tracking.

Having identified key assets and risks, the solution works in concert with the company’s security team by providing rich attack surface context and playbooks for taking immediate action.

Pros:

  • Fast setup;
  • Monitors millions of data sources for exposed assets;
  • Identifies brand impersonations;
  • Advanced threat intelligence.

Cons:

  • Dark web monitoring doesn’t always live up to the marketing claims.

Pricing: Scales with your organization. A free trial is available.

6. ImmuniWeb® Discovery

Another heavyweight tool in the ASM arena, ImmuniWeb® Discovery harnesses a fusion of AI and open-source intelligence (OSINT) to zoom into enterprise assets like hackers do. It continuously uncloaks, maps, and categorizes an organization’s digital footprints, including misconfigured IT assets, leaked data, and malware-riddled systems. The solution provides vendor risk scoring to pull the plug on supply chain attacks.

Source: https://www.immuniweb.com/products/discovery/

Pros:

  • Quick asset discovery;
  • Unambiguous tips for plugging security holes;
  • Good value for money.

Cons:

  • A mobile app with main features wouldn’t go amiss;
  • Some may find the dashboard a bit cluttered.

Pricing: Ranges from $499 (Express Pro plan) to $3,995 (Ultimate subscription) per month.

7. CyCognito

Although CyCognito is generally dubbed a startup (it’s only been around since 2017), it yields positive security dividends for orgs by accommodating the full ASM cycle within an easy-to-use platform, from automated reconnaissance with an adversarial stance to remediation assistance.

One of the areas where this tool excels is in determining the business context, such as the owners of assets, the criticality of data they store, and the attack vectors they expose. This type of profiling makes risk prioritization more accurate. It’s also noteworthy that CyCognito uses machine learning and natural language processing to uncover third-party assets and those amassed as a result of M&A or joint ventures.

Source: https://www.csoonline.com/article/3328681/review-continuous-cybersecurity-monitoring-with-cycognito.html

Pros:

  • Made by an ambitious, fast-growing company;
  • Nifty UI;
  • A good deal of innovation under the hood.

Cons:

  • Has yet to reach a state of maturity.

Pricing: Monthly fee starts at $11 per asset.

8. Reflectiz

Focused on web based attack surfaces that are introduced through third party applications, Reflectiz can quickly detect and visualize web based attack surfaces. Reflectiz also comes with built in privacy compliance, or rather non-compliance detection baked into its attack surface management solution.

Pros:

  • Compliance solutions baked in
  • Doesn’t require installing software or even Javascript snippets
  • 0 performance impact

Cons:

  • Client side based attack surfaces only

Pricing: Free to start

Staying on Top of the Attack Surface

To be a moving target in today’s rapidly expanding threat landscape, every company needs to know what to protect and how. An effective attack surface management tool can provide all the actionable insights you need. It inventories, classifies, prioritizes, and continuously monitors your external-facing assets so that you can close all the gaps before malicious actors piggyback on them to infiltrate your infrastructure.

Since code security is integrated into the fabric of a tamper-proof SDLC, it’s in your best interest to thoroughly check your development projects for weak links and exploitable misconfigurations. SpectralOps is an ideal fit for that. With this solution’s unparalleled capability to pinpoint vulnerable codebase fragments and public blind spots without noise, your teams don’t have to sacrifice productivity and get the green light to meet important deadlines.

Related articles

Why We Need Developer Tools for Security and Not Security Tools for Developers

The further down the line we discover a software defect – the more it costs to fix and recover from it, whether it’s a bug that

top 12 cloud security solutions

Top 12 Cloud Security Tools for 2021

A recent survey of nearly 2,000 IT professionals found that while most (85%) enterprises believe cloud technologies are critical to innovation, only 40% actually have a security policy

Misconfigured Kafdrop Puts Companies’ Apache Kafka Completely Exposed

This research refers to exposed data of organizations or individuals as a result of misconfigured infrastructure, not caused by the Kafdrop project itself. Highly committed to the

Stop leaks at the source!