Earlier this year serious vulnerabilities were detected in Log4j. The vulnerability, which made users’ devices exploitable through the use of the software has now been identified as endemic. For government agencies, this means that it’s more important than ever to manage this attack surface and eliminate the risks presented by this commonly used, open-source logging shell.
Log4j is widely used in applications like iMessage, to log security and performance information. Jonathan Cran, Vice President at Mandiant, explained in a recent webinar that “the challenge is that is it not immediately obvious whether an application is running Log4j since it can be running in the background.” Through attack surface management tools, agencies can run checks and queries throughout their environment to investigate where there could be potential vulnerabilities.
Attack surface management applications provide agencies with the tools to mitigate cybersecurity risks since the attack surface is expanding due to hybrid working. This leaves agencies in need of applications to defend their environments from bad actors, who are growing in sophistication and using automated tools to discover vulnerable assets, identify vulnerabilities, and launch attacks. According to Forrester, on average, attack surface management tools initially discover 30 percent more cloud assets than security and IT teams even know they have. Missing visibility of assets makes it difficult to manage from a security perspective, commented Michael Reynolds, Director of Product Marketing at Mandiant.
The capabilities of attack surface management applications include comprehensive visibility throughout the agency’s network, continuous monitoring for exposures, and operationalized intelligence. By first discovering unknown assets throughout the environment, agencies can then investigate and determine vulnerabilities. After establishing the potential threat vectors, agencies can continuously monitor those vectors and the overall system. If any exposures were to occur where potential attackers may break through, the application could prioritize patching those exposures. Attack surface management applications notify agencies where they are potentially at risk and vulnerable so that they can leverage the gathered insight to mitigate risk within the environment.
By integrating attack surface management tools, agencies can continuously monitor their environments to stay ahead of bad actors and be prepared to mitigate real world threats. As agencies continue with the hybrid work environment, it is increasingly essential to protect the perimeter and manage the agency’s IT environment.
To learn more about attack surface management, click here.