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What is EASM and how does it work?

Mar 20, 2024

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In today's interconnected digital landscape, organizations face an array of cyber threats that can compromise sensitive data, disrupt operations, and damage reputation. As such, understanding and effectively managing external digital exposure is paramount. This is where External Attack Surface Management (EASM) comes into play.

EASM serves as a proactive approach to cybersecurity, enabling organizations to comprehensively assess and mitigate risks associated with their external attack surface. It empowers businesses to identify vulnerabilities, protect critical assets, and stay one step ahead of cyber threats. By shining a light on the digital shadow cast by an organization, EASM helps mitigate the potential consequences of overlooked risks.

What is EASM?

External Attack Surface Management (EASM) refers to the strategic process of identifying, assessing, and managing an organization's digital footprint visible to the public internet. It encompasses all aspects of an organization's IT infrastructure that are externally accessible, including employee email environments, customer-facing web applications, exposed databases, and network-adjacent cloud assets.

EASM operates through a systematic process:

  • Discovery: Identifying all external assets.
  • Enumeration: Profiling each asset in detail.
  • Vulnerability Management: Scanning for weaknesses and prioritizing risks.
  • Risk Mitigation: Developing and implementing security measures.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Establishing ongoing surveillance to adapt to changes.

By comprehensively identifying assets and leveraging automated tools like those offered by Aftra, organizations can illuminate their entire external-facing digital footprint, uncovering assets, access points, and vulnerabilities overlooked by security and management teams.

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How does EASM work: 

Exploring Your External Landscape: EASM begins with a thorough exploration of the organization's external attack surface. This involves identifying all assets indirectly under management's supervision, from email environments to cloud assets.

Navigating Configuration Oversight: Careless configuration management can inadvertently grant unauthorized access to cybercriminals. EASM helps organizations navigate these pitfalls by identifying and rectifying configuration gaps, such as over-permissioned cloud storage or the absence of multifactor authentication.

Illuminating Your Digital Shadow: Maintaining visibility across the digital footprint is crucial for risk mitigation. EASM provides a structured approach, encompassing discovery, enumeration, vulnerability management, risk mitigation, and continuous monitoring. By revealing assets, access points, and vulnerabilities, EASM facilitates proactive risk management.

Identifying Security Deficiencies: Failure to address security gaps can result in severe consequences, including data breaches and regulatory non-compliance. EASM software plays a pivotal role by identifying and addressing these deficiencies, comparing security measures against industry benchmarks, automating policy checks, and prioritizing improvement opportunities.

The Role of EASM: EASM evaluates security measures against established standards, identifies architectural gaps, performs automated policy checks, assesses configurations, and prioritizes improvement opportunities based on potential business impact. Essentially, EASM serves as a roadmap for gradually enhancing cybersecurity amidst evolving technology landscapes.

To conclude, EASM is a critical component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. By leveraging EASM tools and methodologies, organizations can fortify their defenses, mitigate risks, and safeguard against potential threats in an interconnected  and ever changing digital environment.

Stay ahead, stay secure.
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