Skip to main content
Digital 17 (Desktop)

Skimming the Attack Surface with Traditional Cyber Security Assessments Increases Cyber Security Risks

Learn why security rating services are so unpopular.

What are security ratings?

Security ratings are an independent, quantifiable assessment of an organization's cybersecurity risk posture. Factors such as vulnerability assessment of attacker-exposed digital assets and industry standards influence these ratings, helping businesses identify security weaknesses, prioritize security investments, and communicate trust. Monitoring security ratings can positively impact cyber resilience.

If you’re analyzing the IT risk associated with a supplier, then a security rating service may be what you need. However, even for management of third-party risk, security professionals are generally not enthusiastic about security ratings services that offer simple scorecard-like functionality.

Many chief information security officers (CISOs) are dissatisfied with the over-simplified scorecard approach and the fact that the scoring is not based on in-depth security analysis.

In fact, a leading global advisory firm released a 2020 report on these ratings services that shows that only 18% of security leaders in the U.S. find security ratings valuable for third-party management. The highest rating was from India, where a mere 25% find these rating services add value.

If your goal goes beyond a security rating for a vendor for procurement purposes — managing your attack surface or evaluating the security posture of your own organization, your subsidiaries, or a merger and acquisition (M&A) target — using a cybersecurity rating dashboard solution is an even riskier choice.

Only 18% of U.S. security leaders find security ratings valuable for third-party risk management.

Cybersecurity Risk Ratings Market Outlook

Forrester Research, Inc. March 2020

Identify the Path of Least Resistance

Assessing and managing your security posture requires an approach that security rating services simply don’t take, which is discovering the attack surface in depth and detecting the POLaR - Path of Least Resistance™. That’s what attackers do when they are out to compromise your organization: they find the easiest way to reach and exploit high-value targets.

The CyCognito Platform Applies the POLaR Principle to:

Attack Surface Management

<p class="body"CyCognito shows you how attackers view your organization and where they are most likely to break in. Our SaaS platform helps you quickly see and rank your most critical risks and gives you prescriptive remediation guidance so you know precisely where and how to focus your security team to eliminate them.

Security Effectiveness Self-Assessments

<p class="body"Measure and manage your security performance with the CyCognito platform to fully understand and improve your cybersecurity posture. The automated self-assessment is built upon a detailed analysis of the business context and risk of each individual IT asset in your attack surface.

Evaluation of M&A

The CyCognito platform gives you immediate visibility to the cybersecurity posture of your M&A targets. It identifies the breadth of a target organization’s attack surface and rates the effectiveness of its security controls, without requiring any deployment or configuration.

Assessment & Monitoring of Subsidiary Risk

The CyCognito platform gives you immediate visibility to the security postures of your subsidiaries. It identifies their attack surfaces and rates the effectiveness of their security controls, without requiring any deployment or configuration. The platform delivers prescriptive remediation guidance for each of the identified risks so your security teams know precisely where and how to eliminate them.

Security Ratings Services Drawbacks

Security ratings service vendors promote their products for attack surface management or organizational security assessments, but they were not designed for deep inspection or remediation of security issues.

Instead, those cybersecurity ratings solutions were designed to deliver a high-level scorecard-style rating for procurement purposes, not to provide in-depth security risk analysis with scores applied to each asset and each attack vector in the organization being assessed. In fact, the purpose of security ratings solutions is merely to produce a score, rather than the score being the result of a thorough security posture assessment. This is a key reason that a ratings service is the wrong tool to use when security expertise is critical to the process and final result.

Ready to Rule Your Risk?

Request a personalized walkthrough of the CyCognito platform to see how we can help your company identify all its assets exposed to the internet, focus on which are most vulnerable to attacks, and accelerate your time to remediating critical risks.