While the ideal goal of cybersecurity is to stop all attacks, 100% prevention is impossible. The reality is that attackers only need to find a weakness or vulnerability. The attack surface that organizations need to defend against is increasingly complex, and the threat landscape continues to expand rapidly, making it nearly impossible to prevent attacks 100% of the time.
While detecting and blocking threats is important, the real goal of cybersecurity is cyber resilience — ensuring that cyberattacks do not disrupt operations and productivity. The first step in cyber resilience is understanding the business context of the compromise: which business services are or may be impacted, and what that means for the business.
As organizations embrace and pursue digital transformation, the interconnectedness of the applications, devices, users, and data flows that drive the digital enterprise also creates complexity, leading to increased attack surfaces and operational inefficiencies. The impact of these relationships and dependencies can have costly consequences, including business interruption, non-compliance fines, remediation costs, lost revenue, and loss of reputation.
The threat landscape is daunting. There are more than 1 billion malware programs, and more than 500,000 new malware samples are detected every day.
Ransomware has become the biggest threat keeping IT security teams up at night. There have been a number of high-profile ransomware attacks, such as the attack on Colonial Pipeline in early 2021, or the one on Liberty College, forcing the 157-year-old institution to permanently shut down. However, organizations of all sizes and industries are affected by ransomware attacks every day. From 2019 to 2020, ransomware attacks against businesses increased by 20%, and the average cost of a ransomware incident soared by 40%.
Smarter Security Policy
Companies understand that reducing cyber risk is an increasingly important business need. The rising threat of malware, ransomware attacks, and other cyber threats has a greater impact on operations, resulting in costly business disruptions.
To fight back, businesses spend more of their annual budgets on security solutions. Unfortunately, these investments won’t necessarily solve the problem. Despite these initiatives, 9 out of 10 security leaders believe their organization is not adequately prepared to deal with cyber risks.
Increasing spending by itself will not improve network resilience. Mitigating risk is understanding the entire attack surface, understanding the business context of the compromise (for example, is it part of a business-critical application or is it related to a critical application?), and taking steps to identify and address vulnerabilities in defenses. Where and how safe investments are allocated is important.
Reduce cyber risk
Organizations need to be able to visualize the attack surface in the context of the business services that make up the company to effectively prioritize mitigation efforts. Hybrid and multi-cloud environments, combined with containers, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, SaaS applications, and digital supply chain issues, make this work even more challenging.
Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management (CAASM) solutions provide visibility into internal assets (often through API integration with existing tools) to identify gaps in security controls and reveal weaknesses in the security posture that need to be addressed and remediated. vArmour takes it a step further, providing insight into what many consider impossible or extremely difficult to accomplish: for any given asset, what application, and which business unit that asset belongs to. Additionally, which key applications are relevant to any given asset. For example, understanding whether the compromised workload is part of a critical application that manages interbank SWIFT transactions will greatly determine remediation plans.
If you want to build cyber resilience, you need to start with a comprehensive and unified mapping of digital assets across the enterprise. Regular snapshots are not enough because the IT environment is constantly changing and evolving. You need real-time, continuous management and inventory control of all assets, applications and users to effectively improve threat response and security controls. Continuously mapping the attack surface allows you to identify gaps and understand dependencies in real time. vArmour provides this visibility through a step-by-step approach:
- Discover and visualize every application, every identity, and every relationship (and data flow) across the enterprise environment to map the entire attack surface.
- Observe the interactions between all these identities to establish a baseline of normal activity so you can identify abnormal behavior or behavior.
- Establish and validate consistent application-centric access control policies to enforce security natively within your existing infrastructure and applications.
vArmour automatically visualizes and maps all application relationships and dependencies in days rather than months, with continuous accuracy, unlike current manual methods that are resource-intensive, error-prone and immediately obsolete. This insight is critical because it provides visibility across the entire attack surface, enabling IT security teams to reduce cyber risk.
Understanding the business context of an application and its relationships is critical to effectively managing the attack surface. It reduces the chances of a successful cyberattack and increases an organization’s cyber resilience, so IT security teams can sleep at night, trusting that business will continue no matter what threat actors throw at them.