Take Another Leap Beyond “Managing” Your Attack Surface

By Ansh Patnaik, Chief Product Officer | May 27, 2021
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Now You Can Fully Automate and Operationalize
Your Attack Surface Lifecycle

When it comes to attack surface management, automating and operationalizing are often aspirational, but nevertheless critical goals. Critical because the hacker economy you’re battling is already automated and incredibly efficient. Unfortunately, with most of today’s attack surface “management” (ASM) products, “managing” means “just getting by” with an initial and often incomplete discovery, and not even attempting to address the full lifecycle. Most of the ASM market gives you some visibility into attack surface digital assets and some identification of security weaknesses. But these solutions have no ability to prioritize the issues based on what’s important to your organization or orchestrate the remediation workflows. 

The CyCognito platform is the first external attack surface management platform that enables you to fully automate and operationalize your attack surface management lifecycle. Let’s take a look at:

  • how you move from “managing” to truly protecting your attack surface
  • what operationalized attack surface management looks like in practice
  • how we at CyCognito were able to break this new ground

From Managing to Truly Protecting Your Attack Surface 

The benefit of addressing and automating each of the four key phases of the attack surface lifecycle cannot be overstated. These phases are: 

  1. Discovery of assets on your external attack surface. 
  2. Assessment of issues or vulnerabilities on that attack surface. 
  3. Prioritization of issues based on business context and attacker priorities.
  4. Workflows that facilitate remediation of the prioritized risks or issues. 

At CyCognito, we are proud that our platform delivers automation beyond what any other attack surface “management” (ASM) vendor offers. For example, our attack surface discovery process is completely automated; all the platform needs to get to work is your company name. Equally impressive, the platform’s classification of your attack surface assets is automated. Unlike other ASM products, you don’t have to spend hundreds of hours attributing your assets to the appropriate platform, environment, business unit, or subsidiary; CyCognito has automated the classification and attribution process with the latest in NLP and machine learning techniques. 

Well beyond ASM products and even beyond vulnerability scanners, our platform also delivers continuous, automated testing of your entire attack surface with no agents, configuration, or IP range selection required. Nor do you have to manually prioritize your attack surface risks; the platform automatically assigns severity scores to potential security issues in your attack surface. Not with one-size-fits all CVSS prioritization, but personalized, realistic prioritization based on understanding an attacker's perspective about the attractiveness and discoverability of the assets in question, exploitation complexity, and potential impact to the organization. 

No other ASM vendor offers this and for that reason, we call this next level of automated external attack surface management “attack surface protection.”

New Capabilities in the CyCognito Platform Help You
Operationalize Attack Surface Protection

 As commonly defined, “operationalizing” requires humans to interact with and trust automated processes and for those automated processes to be embedded into workflows to create efficiencies and improve outcomes. For complete, cost-effective, and timely attack surface protection, it’s vital that your security and IT teams, technologies and processes across the entire organization, including subsidiaries and partners, work together seamlessly. 

The new capabilities that enable your teams to operationalize your cybersecurity program with the CyCognito platform include: 

  • Improved risk-based prioritization that helps your teams mobilize to address the right issues first.  
  • Advanced analytics that operationalize remediation planning, showing you the most efficient path to achieve an improved security posture.
  • A robust workflow engine that delivers out-of-the-box integrations so you can operationalize the whole remediation process. 

For example, you can set up a workflow that triggers: 

  • communications to a Slack channel and email about a critical issue
  • opens a ticket in any mainstream incident management solution like Jira, ServiceNow, Zendesk or OpsGenie 
  • sends an event notification to your SIEM (like Splunk) 
  • adds context about new assets to your asset management system
  • tracks the issue
  • and when the ticket is closed, returns to the CyCognito platform for resolution and update of the issue’s status. 

To learn more about these capabilities, please watch this 5-minute video:
What’s New in the CyCognito Platform

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Why & How Was CyCognito Able to Break This New Ground?

The CyCognito platform was built for internet scale — analyzing and classifying hundreds of millions of assets — with deep data strength and a powerhouse engine. And not only for scale, but with the ability to drill in deeper and extract intelligence to inform your other security solutions. Contrast this approach of starting with a foundation built for expansion with some other products that were hastily built by practitioners without engineering expertise. 

Deep engineering expertise, deep cybersecurity expertise and some of the world’s best analysts have shaped the CyCognito platform. Our approach to taking the insights from our analyst team and successfully automating and operationalizing them is an ongoing strategy. 

And we also have to credit our world-class customer base. In partnership with them, we learn where they need and want to go to further improve their processes and results.  

What’s Next?

As to what’s the next ground-breaking set of capabilities CyCognito will bring to the market to stay ahead of attackers, please stay tuned. My product team and I are partnering with our engineering team and our world-class customer base to further enrich and expand our category-defining attack surface protection platform. 

For a mini-demo of the new capabilities, watch the video Operationalizing Attack Surface Protection: Introducing Remediation Planner and New Workflow Integrations.

About Ansh Patnaik, Chief Product Officer

Ansh Patnaik, Chief Product Officer at CyCognito, has over 20 years of cross-functional experience in cybersecurity and data analytics.

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