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20 Tips For Reducing External Attack Surface Risks

Twenty security tips for reducing attack surface risks and safeguarding your attack surface.

Introduction

For a company or a website, significantly reducing an attack surface can inherently thwart adversaries' efforts to exploit data and prevent a breach. Almost every organization is involved in keeping cybercrimes at bay, actively or at certain times, and through proper attack surface management, they choose to become a small target. For obvious reasons, a company must always protect their sensitive data and information, as it is evident from the fact that cybercrime costs companies globally about 6 trillion dollars annually by 2021.

20 Tips For Reducing External Attack Surface Risks

With such a threat looming over various companies or organizations, it is essential to understand how to fight these online crimes better. The article highlights 20 tips to reduce the attack surface exposed by various online platforms exploited by cybercriminals.

  • Attack Surface Visibility: Make all data invisible so attackers couldn't see what to attack. Find software that can cloak all-important parts and render them invisible to nefarious groups and unauthorized users. Conveniently it is advised not to use VPNs as they rely upon open ports for incoming connections. 
  • Reduce trust among members using online platforms: These can include workers and third-party members, as more access to private information increases the risk of being exploited through cyber crimes. Adopt software security that emphasizes attack surface reduction and renders ports invisible to unauthorized users reducing movement and eliminating threats from the inside.
  • Enable software that focuses on attack surface mapping, where all activities' digital footprint is mapped, and channels for attacks are monitored. Identifying and mitigating attack threats helps reduce the attack surface and protect the information of customers, employers, and the network. It keeps phishing attempts at bay and attacks cybercrimes at their root cause.
  • Always use programmable security software. One thing every organization should be aware of is that the attack surface is always elusive. It means that frequent deployments, movement of applications, and cloud movements depend on the demand. There is enormous complexity in managing access privileges, and many cause risks and breaches in security. So using security software that changes with the attack surface will be highly beneficial.
  • Always utilize constant exercises and drills that push the companies security services to the limit. Organizations must be smart enough to track down vulnerabilities before their adversaries do and always be two steps ahead in cybersecurity. Resilience to cyber crimes is not a fixed goal but a regular journey with its ups and downs. So every security platform must prepare for the worst to thwart cybercriminals' actions and reduce the attack surface.
  • Constantly update software and release patches regularly for both infrastructures as well as third-party software. Bringing updates for just the infrastructure can only lead to vulnerabilities opening up through many third-party access ports.
  • Attack Surface Analysis: Always run regular scans throughout the attack surface to analyze the high and medium risk vulnerabilities on the surface. With the dynamics of cyber threats constantly changing and evolving, it is recommended doing this analysis once every month or a few months.
  • Reduce the privileges of local administrative users as malware attacks constantly target software through logged-on sessions.
  • Enforcing policies regarding passwords and two or three-factor authentication steps are also one step ahead in attack surface management. Including length and complexity can increase security, and all employees and workers should understand proper password management. It also includes never using default passwords across login sites or website authentication purposes.
  • Ensure that all local administrator passwords are unique to a specific individual. It reduces the total number of administrator controls that an attack can have if the network succumbs to the attack.
  • All critical systems must be regularly tested and worked up, and there backup should be stored on separate hard drives or onsite storage infrastructures.
  • Always use software security practices that are secure and ensure that the coders also write secure codes in the program and not just codes that work.
  • Always hire professionals who undertake safe engineering practices where more pro guides and protocols are followed.
  • Standard configurations of network systems must be done regularly and securely where broadcast protocols are disabled, and network servers have digital communication between the two. It will reduce the attack surface on infrastructure or software.
  • Don't put out data onto the internet unless it is imperative. Networks can also be secured by isolating them from each other to prevent third-party and unauthorized access.
  • Always keep the local firewall running and don't open ports that have no utility. If an attacker gains access to one port, it'll be easier for them to access the rest.
  • Don't install services into the network or run them if they don't hold any specific purpose or value.
  • Avoid running software and applications as an administrator or a root as much as possible.
  • Continuously monitor applications and ports as much as possible through integrated software or educated workers and rely on a single security infrastructure for protection.
  • Always follow the best and efficient protocols and practices that rely on the state of the art technology and proper tools for effective attack surface management.
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Anjan kant

Outstanding journey in Microsoft Technologies (ASP.Net, C#, SQL Programming, WPF, Silverlight, WCF etc.), client side technologies AngularJS, KnockoutJS, Javascript, Ajax Calls, Json and Hybrid apps etc. I love to devote free time in writing, blogging, social networking and adventurous life

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