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Last updated March 26th, 2024 by Avigdor Book

In cybersecurity, staying ahead means prioritizing your attack surface management, pinpointing vulnerabilities, streamlining patching, and empowering your security teams. 

Understanding and overseeing your organization’s attack surface is similar to being aware of every potential entry point a burglar might use to get into your house. In the online world, this entails pinpointing all possible vulnerabilities that threat actors could exploit to gain unauthorized entry into your network. 

As we delve further, we’ll examine the significance of attack surface management (ASM), how it stands apart from vulnerability management, and the tools and frameworks that can aid in securing your cyber frontiers.

Attack Surface Management: The Starting Point

Attack surface management focuses on gaining a full perspective of your organization’s digital presence. This includes on-site and cloud-based assets, internet-facing assets, endpoints, IoT devices, and even the shadow IT hidden away. This vast inventory serves as the groundwork for pinpointing vulnerabilities and misconfigurations that might pose threats to your cybersecurity stance.

Comparing attack surface management with vulnerability management, attack surface management is more encompassing. While vulnerability management zeroes in on identifying, ranking, and patching known vulnerabilities within your system, attack surface management includes this and further extends by persistently scanning for new attack vectors, including undiscovered assets and external threats. It represents a proactive and thorough strategy for safeguarding your cyber frontiers against a constantly changing threat landscape.

To efficiently oversee your attack surface, employing specialized attack surface management tools is essential. These tools facilitate automated asset discovery, risk assessment, and threat intelligence collection, offering real-time insights into your security posture.

By weaving these tools into your current security operations, such as centralized firewall management and zero trust network segmentation, you can boost your organization’s defense against cyberattacks.

Reducing Your Attack Surface

Minimizing your attack surface involves several strategic steps, including reducing unnecessary internet-facing assets, enforcing strict access controls, and dividing your network to contain potential breaches.

Implementing zero trust network segmentation, as suggested in our exploring the advantages of network segmentation article, is a crucial move towards reducing your attack surface. It ensures that only verified and authorized users can access specific network resources, significantly shrinking the potential attack vectors.

Additionally, tackling shadow IT challenges by establishing clear IT governance policies can stop unauthorized applications and devices from inadvertently expanding your attack surface. Regular penetration testing and adherence to NERC CIP standards are also vital practices that help uncover vulnerabilities and confirm your network’s resilience against attacks.


Combat cyber threats by making attack surface management a priority and enabling your security teams to quickly identify vulnerabilities, streamline patching processes, and enhance your cyber defenses.

Adopting the right tools and frameworks, such as the Tufin Orchestration Suite, can significantly improve your capability to effectively manage and secure your digital assets.

FAQs on Attack Surface Management

Q: How can we minimize the attack surface to boost our organization’s security stance?

A: Minimizing your attack surface involves a blend of strategies, including reducing the number of external assets visible to potential attackers, regular asset inventory to ensure only necessary systems are exposed, and implementing strict security controls around critical infrastructure. By focusing on external attack surface management, organizations can significantly lessen the risk of cyber attacks. For a deeper exploration of how these strategies can shield your organization from cyber threats, check out our blog on understanding the significance of zero trust.

Q: What are some differences between attack surface management from vulnerability management?

A: Attack surface management (ASM) zeroes in on identifying and overseeing the full range of an organization’s potential exposure points – including IP addresses, apps, and firewalls – to diminish the risk of unauthorized access. Vulnerability management, in contrast, specifically targets identifying, evaluating, and mitigating vulnerabilities within an organization’s attack surface. Each plays a pivotal role in enhancing an organization’s security stance against cybercriminals and malware. Gain more insights by reading about the zero trust vs least privilege struggle in cybersecurity.

Learn more about the vital balance between attack surface management and vulnerability management.

Q: How does attack surface management aid in the defendse against modern cyber threats?

A: Attack surface management aids in defending against modern cyber threats by giving organizations a comprehensive overview of their entire digital footprint, including on-premises and cloud assets, thus enabling them to pinpoint potential entry points for cybercriminals. By persistently monitoring and analyzing the attack surface for new risks, such as misconfigurations or unauthorized changes, organizations can proactively mitigate threats like ransomware and data breaches. For advice on choosing the right tools to effectively manage your network security, check out our article on selecting a network security policy automation tool.

Wrapping Up

Whether your concerns revolve around compliance, risk management, or protecting sensitive data, investing in a solid attack surface management solution is a strategic step towards securing your organization’s future. 

We encourage you to discover how Tufin can further support your cybersecurity endeavors by signing up for a demo. Together, we can explore the intricacies of the digital landscape and protect your cyber frontiers against evolving threats.

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