Reduce cyber threats with Visualizing Attack Surface

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In the current scenario, cyber threats are the biggest issue to be focused on enhancing our business process. Preventing the threats is the best way to get rid of cyber attacks. Identifying the high-risk area in the enterprise solves the major issue related to cyber crimes.

Due to the evolution of technology, hacking became an easier task to earn money immediately by a click. The organizations started to develop their own system to prevent such attacks, which might lead to economic fall of their enterprise.

What is visualizing Attack Surface?

The vulnerable data, network, and channel are termed as Attack Surface. The constant watch out of the Attack surface is called as Attack surface Visualization. The wide knowledge about the Attack surface of the organization helps us to sort out the issues as soon as possible without resulting in a great economical disaster. Identifying the topology and Indicators of Exposures in an enterprise helps us to discover the attack surface in an enterprise. This strategy includes improving information security by reducing amount of untrusted user access and unnecessary functionality. The organization should have a clear picture about their attack surface to achieve optimum results in the attack surface visualization. The company must be well aware of the possible ways the hackers can enter into their server in order to take preventive measures. The complete study about the attack surface of the enterprise aids to get rid of unexpected cyber attacks.


The initial process to start with attack surface visualization is to identify the topology of the organization. This topology varies between enterprises. Topology refers to the server, network and the channel used for the transmission of data in the enterprise. Let us discuss in detail

  • Server: As a massive storage of the company, it comprises of web servers, application servers and database servers etc.
  • Endpoints:  The individual electronic devices used by the employee in the organization such as laptops, desktops, mobile devices etc. All the devices which are used for the processing of the business is termed as endpoints
  • Networks: The enterprises process their transaction worldwide through this medium. It consists of network segments, private and public clouds.
  • Networking devices: It is the channel through which networking takes place is called as networking devices. It comprises of routers, switches, and load balancers.
  • Security devices: It prevents the entry of malware and botnet into the company’s server. Some of the devices are firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPSs) and VPN concentrators

Thus by identifying the above-discussed parameters results with the vulnerable areas of the enterprise.

Types of exposure indicators

The next process in attack surface visualization is to collect indicators within the enterprise like Indicators of Exposures and Indicators of Compromise. Some of the Indicators of Exposures are vulnerabilities in software systems, an absence of security controls and insecure configuration of the software, which widely used in the enterprise for the business process, violating the company’s computer policy while processing the data transformation, Loopholes in the firewalls, which allow the malware to reach the system. There are many indicators, which are added to the list on daily basis. The indicators should be updated every now and then for better results in the Attack Surface Visualization process. Indicators of compromise include the data collected from endpoints in the enterprise, detected malware files in the server as well as endpoints etc. Indicators of exposure give us an idea about the surface, which is under attack, and IOC indicates the surface, which has, underwent the compromise process to overcome the attack.

Hurdles to understand attack surface

Identifying the attack surface is the major criteria to overcome the cyber attacks. However, the organization encounters numerous obstacles in spotting out the surface, which is under threat. The major obstacles were discussed below

  • Unlimited Securable data:  Enterprises are installing SSL certificate to secure data in transmission from server to client’s browser to prevent malware attacks. Due to the business process, the enterprise faces many challenges in securing the updated data such as new rules embedded in the firewall, numerous vulnerable data will be added onto the list due to the deployment of new application every month , periodic changes occurs in the server during the business transaction etc. Thus, it is a big challenge for the network analyst to track out these changes on a regular basis and update it in the list of surfaces under attack.
  • Complicated Topology and Network Configuration: This complication is the major hurdle in identifying the attack surface. A small malware can enter into the organization server while connecting with the third party through the network without the knowledge of the employee. The attack happens even in well-protected firewall systems. The anticipation of such attacks is a complex process. Periodic changes will be encountered in the configuration due to the processing of the business worldwide leads greater risk to the vulnerable data. It is difficult to have a constant watch over the changes since hundreds of employee for business purposes access the network.
  • Lack of systematic method: The inability of the enterprise to spot out all possible attack surface is every now and then in a systematic manner. This leads to greater risk of facing sudden attacks


The enterprise should adopt certain solutions to reduce the inability in identifying the complete list of attack surfaces in the organization. The consequence faced by the organization due to the outdated list of attack surface such as data breaches, unidentified threats, difficulty in forecasting security investments, increases the cost of audit, poor reaction to the violation of policies and rules within the enterprise. The discussed consequences can be overcome by adapting to suitable solutions, which is compatible with the business process. Attack surface visualization solutions are the only way to get control over the vulnerable areas under threat. The obstacles can be overcome by proper understanding of the attack surfaces. Thus, wide knowledge about the Attack Surface visualization solution gives complete protection to vulnerable data and enhances the security level of the system in the organization.

This article is contributed by Gunjan Tripathiis a technology writer & Digital Marketing Executive at Cheap SSL Shop – An SSL certificate re-seller.

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