Exposure Management: The Key to Cybersecurity Defense

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Exposure Management

Introduction

A recent study reveals that 68% of business leaders are experiencing more cybersecurity risks. As such, it is crucial for companies to move quickly and address these vulnerabilities. Doing that early on will help them keep their important information safe from new threats and make their cybersecurity stronger.

Indeed, handling exposure is crucial since cyber threats are always changing.  Having said that, companies must address vulnerabilities as soon as possible. This would help them keep their important information safe from new threats and make sure their cybersecurity is strong. Hence, starting early to fix these problems can help them stay ahead and ensure their data stays safe.

This blog will walk you through exposure management in cybersecurity. Read along to explore more!

What is Exposure Management in Cybersecurity?

Exposure management is like staying a step ahead in cybersecurity. It’s about spotting, checking, and fixing any weak spots or risks before they can be exploited by unauthorized parties. For example, a company shows its dedication by regularly checking its network for weaknesses and promptly addressing them. 

But why is exposure management important? Let’s look into it:

  • Gain Comprehensive Cyber Risk Understanding: Exposure management gives you a clearer picture of cyber risks by providing a wide view of all the areas where your digital assets could be vulnerable to attacks.
  • Make Informed Business Decisions: It helps you make the most of your resources by figuring out which parts of your system are at the highest risk and need attention first. This approach empowers you to make wise choices for your business, backed by reliable information.
  • Maintain a Proactive Security Posture: Exposure management continually reduces the cloud attack surface, allowing organizations to stay ahead of adversaries and maintain a proactive security posture.
  • Improve Visibility and Awareness: It provides a unified, graphical view of the attack surface, enhancing organizational awareness and visibility.

What is the Difference Between Exposure and Vulnerability?

It can be challenging to distinguish between exposures and vulnerabilities, as these terms are frequently used interchangeably. However, even though cybersecurity teams focus on similar areas and objectives, vulnerabilities and exposures have distinct meanings.

Below is a table that highlights their differences.

AspectVulnerabilityExposure
DefinitionA hacker can gain unauthorized access to an account or network by exploiting a vulnerability in a system.Threat actors can gain indirect access to a system or network through areas within an organization.
NatureSoftware code errors listed in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) catalog classify these.Layered, targeted attacks such as phishing or software misconfigurations usually cause these.
ExamplesSQL injections (SQLi), cross-site scripting (XSS), vulnerabilities in cloud SaaS solutions.Sending confidential data to the wrong recipient, phishing attacks, backdoors from software misconfigurations.
ImpactDirect unauthorized access, data theft, data modification, and malware spread (e.g., ransomware) can result.Data leaks, financial loss, reputational damage, and potential harm to customers and stakeholders may happen.
Exploitation MethodHackers use these weaknesses to launch cyber attacks or run malicious code.Threat actors gain indirect access through methods like phishing, exploiting misconfigurations, or data leaks.
ConsequencesThese weaknesses allow hackers to directly access systems for data theft, modification, or ransomware attacks demanding ransom for decryption keys.Data breaches, reputational harm, and broader supply chain risks result from indirect access.

Benefits of Exposure Management in Cybersecurity 

Employing exposure management brings many benefits to cybersecurity. It actively reduces cyber risk and helps predict attacks by using exposure management platforms. Thus, this includes tasks like attack surface management, where weaknesses across digital assets are actively identified and fixed. Integrating these elements into exposure management strategies actively strengthens organizations’ cybersecurity stance and lessens the potential fallout from cyberattacks.

Here are some advantages of implementing an exposure management strategy:

  • Achieve comprehensive visibility

You can actively locate associated security risks and identify all your assets across the board by maintaining a unified picture of your attack surface.

Example: Maintain a unified view of your attack surface to identify all assets and related security issues quickly.

  • Anticipate cyber attack consequences

Using an exposure management platform, you can better understand the relationships between your assets, exposures, privileges, and threats across your entire attack surface, on-premises and in the cloud.

Example: Utilize an exposure management platform to understand relationships between assets, exposures, privileges, and threats.

  • Prioritize actions

You can improve your risk prioritization abilities by continually identifying and focusing on exploitable vulnerabilities, attack vectors, and breach pathways. Thus, this enables better remediation insight for effectively reducing risk and preventing attacks.

Example: Focus on identifying and addressing exploitable vulnerabilities and attack pathways to prioritize risks better.

  • Enhance communication effectiveness

When you put an exposure management program into action, you start seeing cyber risks in a way that matches up with what your business aims for. As such, this not only helps you talk openly with key stakeholders but also helps the company reach its goals.

Example: Use an exposure management program to understand cyber exposures that are aligned with business goals, improving communication with stakeholders.

Four Stages of Exposure Management

The process of managing exposure usually involves four steps:

  • Understanding Exposure
  • Prioritizing Cyber Risk Management
  • Organizing the Response
  • Exposure Remediation

Let’s review each stage in more detail to obtain a thorough understanding.

Stage 1: Understanding Exposure

Companies use an exposure management platform to find and fix hidden problems in their growing network of business connections. They know that their weaknesses now include outside groups they work with, like vendors and partners, so it’s essential to keep track of these risks. 

Apart from dealing with problems they already know about, businesses can also try techniques like ethical hacking and penetration testing. This helps them think like hackers and spot any weaknesses in their systems.

Stage 2: Prioritizing Cyber Risk Management

The risk management approach embedded in exposure management platforms ensures that vulnerabilities and exposures are promptly addressed to mitigate the risk of cybercrime. However, regular risk assessments are essential given the constant evolution and increasing complexity of the cyber threat. Moreover, conducting these assessments helps security operations focus on remediation activities effectively.

Continuous threat exposure management remains critical and so security teams are always equipped with current and precise threat intelligence. Thus, they can actively use the best methods and plans to reduce cyber risk, fitting with what the business needs.

Stage 3: Organizing the Response

Dynamic, real-time threat intelligence empowers the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and other stakeholders to implement and actively maintain the most effective security controls. However, it’s crucial to document the response actively. 

This way, the business actively tracks its progress, provides a clear path for others to follow, and actively possesses evidence of security control implementation, which can actively contribute to regulatory compliance.

Stage 4: Exposure Remediation

Businesses can use objective ratings to benchmark their security program maturity against similar organizations. However, both new and existing security controls need ongoing assessment, as vulnerability mitigation is an ongoing process, not a one-time event.

The cybersecurity team must validate that implemented controls are functioning as intended. Additionally, any identified vulnerabilities or exposures must be documented and promptly addressed if they are found to be deficient.

Best Practices for Implementing Exposure Management

Here are a few best practices for implementing exposure management in your organization:

  • Encourage departments to collaborate to enable faster, more informed decisions and more effective responses to newly discovered threats.
  • Centralize data from across the organization to spot trends, weak spots, and concealed threats that might evade detection in isolated data silos.
  • Concentrate on severe vulnerabilities, prioritizing vulnerabilities by their significant impact using EASM capabilities to guarantee resource allocation to the most critical risks. 
  • Use metrics for continuous improvement to assess and enhance the value of the EASM solution and integrated technologies. This involves utilizing metrics such as time to detection (MTTD), mean time to repair (MTTR) and time to mitigate (TTM).

How ResilientX Helps Organizations Manage Their Exposure Risks

As cyber threats change, organizations must manage their risks well. ResilientX provides a Unified Exposure Management Platform that includes Attack Surface Management, Web and Network Security Testing, Cloud Security Automation, and Third-Party Risk Management. Accordingly, this keeps businesses secure from potential cybersecurity threats by assisting them in identifying, evaluating, and managing cyber risks early on.

Here are some reasons why ResilientX is the best in exposure management cybersecurity:

  • Get Instant Visibility into Your Cyber Assets and Risks 

ResilientX gives a quick and complete look at an organization’s cyber assets and risks. Thus, this instant view helps security teams find and fix vulnerabilities quickly, making it harder for attackers to strike.

  • Passive and Active Security Testing 

We actively combine passive and active security testing methodologies to examine and protect digital assets thoroughly. Passive testing minimizes disruption while still identifying potential issues, whereas active testing rigorously evaluates the security posture to discover hidden vulnerabilities.

  • Advanced Analytics and Correlations

ResilientX uses smart analytics to help organizations understand tricky data, find patterns, and deal with threats based on their riskiness. Hence, this helps them focus on the most important areas, improving their security.

As such, ResilientX helps organizations see potential threats early, making sure they stay safe and strong.

Bottom Line

Exposure management is now the primary strategy in modern cybersecurity defense, giving organizations a proactive way to deal with changing cyber threats directly. By using exposure management, businesses can really understand their digital weaknesses, prioritize them well, and respond to them accurately. As cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated, the significance of proficient exposure management only grows. Building resilient cybersecurity postures and safeguarding invaluable digital assets against persistent cyber adversaries are essential practices. As such, ResilientX is the best solution in exposure management to keep your company one step ahead of any risks. 
Ready to take control of your exposure risks? Explore ResilientX today and safeguard your digital future.

FAQ

  1. What is exposure management in cyber security?

Exposure management in cybersecurity refers to the process of discovering, assessing, and mitigating security risks linked to exposed digital assets. For example, identifying and fixing vulnerabilities in a company’s web application.

  1. Why is exposure management important?

Exposure management empowers organizations to enhance their security posture by actively scanning networks for vulnerabilities and promptly addressing them. 

  1. What is the impact of exposure in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity exposure increases the likelihood of data breaches or unauthorized access, jeopardizing the security of digital assets. This emphasizes how crucial it is to take proactive steps to counter possible threats, like vulnerability assessments and regular security updates.

  1. What is risk exposure management?

Mortgage lenders’ attempts to reduce the risk of mortgage arrears are referred to as risk exposure management. To support top-line revenue, this includes improving closing timelines and optimizing property valuation models.

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