BLOG

Why External IT Visibility Matters to Security Teams

3 minute read

The Current State of External IT Visibility

Despite significant advancements in security controls over the past decade, external attackers continue to be a predominant source of security breaches. According to the 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report

  • 83% of attacks were the result of an attacker originating from outside the perimeter. 
  • About 93% of web-based application breaches led to data disclosure, alongside a notable rise in the exploitation of misconfigurations and deployment errors.

Security challenges are escalating due to the evolving nature of endpoints across various platforms, encompassing traditional and non-traditional devices. Managing diverse security stacks, addressing threats from privileged users, and controlling access to cloud environments compound these issues. 

The proliferation of cloud-based resources and the acceleration of application deployment have compounded the complexity of managing inventory and attack surfaces. IT and security teams often find themselves overwhelmed while attempting to achieve this level of visibility across tracking and identifying resources as they become operational. This difficulty in administrative oversight creates a significant delay in pinpointing and resolving issues, thereby widening the window of exposure.

How to Improve External IT Visibility

To establish a foundation for effective security hygiene, organizations must prioritize the creation of a detailed, continuously monitored inventory, viewed through the lens of a potential attacker.

This approach is instrumental in enhancing the awareness and responsiveness of IT, security, and DevOps teams to ensure they are prioritizing attack likelihood and resolving the exposures that are time sensitive. By maintaining this external visibility through an up-to-date understanding of the inventory and associated exposures, these teams can foster improved communication and ensure safer deployment of services.

Adversaries in the cyber landscape are known for their agility and constantly evolving tactics. Their proficiency in discovering new services and applications in targeted organizations is increasing rapidly. Failing to identify and address exposures can lead to significant risks, offering attackers the opportunity to exploit weak points in services or access open data storage containers.

Strengthening External IT Visibility with EASM

Organizations often invest heavily in building secure and efficient development environments. Integrating real-time inventory and issue detection mechanisms into these environments is crucial. This integration ensures that all publicly deployed assets remain within the purview of relevant teams throughout their lifecycle. Addressing external perspective as a primary focus is a critical first step in fortifying organizational security. 

External attack surface management (EASM) lays the foundation for immediate visibility to change from a reactive posture to a proactive defense, allowing you to:

  • Increase efficiency.
  • Contextualize risk.
  • Gain better control of the external attack surface. 
  • Take prioritized action.

By eliminating opportunistic targets for attackers and simplifying the tasks of operational teams, organizations can save valuable time and resources while significantly reducing the likelihood of a security compromise.

The imperative for organizations is clear: adopting a proactive, attacker-centric approach to inventory and exposure management is vital in safeguarding against the ever-evolving threats in the cyber domain.

See ZeroFox in action