Growing Attack Surfaces Highlight the Need for Managed Detection and Response Services
2024-5-28 21:0:0 Author:查看原文) 阅读量:6 收藏

One reason organizations have difficulty defending against cyber threats is their attack surfaces are constantly growing, creating more entry points for bad actors to target. And target they will, creating an onslaught of alerts that drive the need for managed detection and response (MDR) services and other measures to help thwart them.

Numerous trends are driving the increase in attack surface, including the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. These can range from myriad Internet-connected machines on a factory floor to sensors tied to HVAC and building management systems. Any such Internet-connected devices represent a potential point of entry for cyber attackers.

Even worse, the 2023 Microsoft Digital Defense Report found that 78% of IoT devices in customer networks have known vulnerabilities, and 46% of them cannot be patched because their firmware is no longer supported. Indeed, 57% of devices on legacy firmware are subject to exploit by 10 or more common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs), the report said.

All of these IoT devices contribute to another factor in the growing attack surface: data proliferation. Simply put, companies are generating and storing data at astounding rates. One indicator: The global cloud storage services market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of nearly 20% from 2024 to 2028, according to Technavio.

Cloud services themselves also contribute to the growing attack surface. Cloud storage, computing, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications involve conducting business on remote servers, thus extending the potential attack surface far outside corporate walls.

Open-source software is another contributor. Attacks targeting open-source software have grown on average 742% since 2019, according to the Microsoft Digital Defense Report.

Of course, for years, we’ve been dealing with the proliferation of remote and home-based workers and employees using their own devices for work, trends that likewise expand the potential attack surface.

Complications, Consequences, Challenges

The expanding attack surface comes at a time when organizations also face increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. Bad actors are engineering more effective social engineering and phishing attacks (thanks, ChatGPT!) and have established ransomware networks to share the latest tools and techniques.

Amid all this, CISOs and other security professionals must comply with various industry security and privacy regulations, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Failure to comply only adds to the potentially dire consequences of any security breach.

However, the ongoing shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals makes it difficult for companies to find the resources to properly defend against cyber threats, including vetting all the alerts their endpoint detection and response (EDR), security information and event management (SIEM), and other tools generate. As attack surfaces expand, it stands to reason that the number of alerts will grow as well.

The Role of Managed Security Services

Managed detection and response services can augment a company’s internal security team by offloading the time-consuming and never-ending job of vetting alerts that EDR, SIEM, and other tools generate.

An MDR service provider with the proper experience and tools can quickly weed out false positives and determine which threats warrant attention. MDR providers offering digital forensics and incident response (DFIR) services (like Trustwave) can also help you mount an effective response.

In fact, looking at the other services an MDR provider offers is a critical aspect of choosing an effective partner. While MDR is great for vetting alerts, having some offensive tools in your arsenal can help prevent alerts in the first place. Such offensive measures include regular pen testing and threat hunting.

Pen testing can help identify potential security vulnerabilities before bad actors find them, and threat hunting can help you find bad actors already lurking in your environment. As attack surfaces grow, both services are essential to mounting a proper defense.

Trustwave is a managed security services provider that offers a full arsenal of weapons to help you protect your expanding attack surface. In addition to MDR and pen testing offerings, our Advanced Continual Threat Hunting offering finds three times more behavior-based threats than other tools. In short, we find threats that others don’t.

Yes, your attack surface is growing. However, a sound cybersecurity plan that includes MDR, pen testing, and threat hunting can help you keep successful attacks at bay.

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