Beyond vulnerability scanning: Enhancing attack surface management for more proactive security

March 17, 2023

How To Choose The Right ASM Solution

By: Randori Blog

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Knowing how to choose the right ASM solution is a nuanced and important step in securing your digital assets. Learning more about the ASM process will help you make an informed decision.

First, Know The Basics

The first step when choosing an ASM solution is understanding the basics of ASM. 

This knowledge will help you choose an ASM solution that meets your unique security needs, manages your assets well, and stays up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity innovations.

What is my Attack Surface?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines it as “The set of points on the boundary of a system, a system element, or an environment where an attacker can try to enter on or extract data from, that system, system element, or environment. Simply put, if your organization has digital assets in any way, shape, or form, an ASM team needs to protect its attack surface to avoid data breaches. An attack surface is the culmination of every potential point of entry a threat actor could target. 

Considering the rapid increase in organizations’ dependence on their digital assets and the shift of more data from physical to the cloud, it’s crucial to make most people aware of the sheer volume of their attack surface. Every file – active or inactive, vulnerability, update, communication, and endpoint user can be considered potential pathways cybersecurity threat actors can exploit to access private and proprietary data. These pathways are called attack vectors; the sum of all the attack vectors is the attack surface.

 What Is ASM?

Attack Surface Management, sometimes called External Attack Surface Management, is an offensive cybersecurity tactic that utilizes two primary methods; continuous monitoring and penetration testing. ASM is the cutting-edge of cybersecurity technology and is widely praised as more effective than traditional internal security measures. 

The offensive approach to ASM offers a fresh perspective to your attack surface; it views it through the lens of the enemy. This external perspective has proven invaluable in thwarting a growing threat of cyberattacks. More and more threat actors are utilizing Open Source intelligence, or OSINT, to monitor an organization’s Attack Surface around the clock. They constantly scan for redundancies and outdated, forgotten files that they manipulate into attack vectors. An attack vector is a potential pathway that cybersecurity threat actors can forge to breach your security perimeter. 

The best way to get ahead of such a sophisticated attack is by finding and exploiting the attack vectors in your surface before threat actors do. This way, your ASM solutions team can then shore up, secure, or remove as many attack vectors as they can, staying one step ahead of the enemy by thinking like them, as in controlled reconnaissance simulations, acting like cybersecurity threats to find an attack vector in your attack surface. 

How To Choose The Right ASM Solution For You

Now that you are familiar with the basics of ASM, the next step in choosing an ASM solution is understanding the three sections that every competitive ASM solutions team should offer. Each unit has a specific function that protects your organization’s attack surface. Sometimes the three sections are also called the phases of an ASM plan, but they don’t always have to occur in a specific order but are sometimes running concurrently or even continuously.


The discovery section of an ASM solutions program will map your attack surface and track all of your digital assets, even those that your development team has long forgotten. It’s inaccurate to call this a “phase” because the mapping and monitoring of your attack surface needs to be continuous. Your organization creates new attack vectors every time you update a part of your system or expand aspects of your digital assets.


Now that your ASM solutions team has mapped the entire attack surface, it’s time to scrutinize it for weaknesses. One of the most critical roles of an ASM solutions program is identifying and prioritizing the attack vectors that are most likely to be targeted or weaponized. Your ASM team will employ various ASM tools to reduce risk. 


During the remediation phase of an ASM solutions program, the management team will troubleshoot and resolve the pressing issues discovered during the assessment phase. A key aspect of remediation is offering vulnerability management solutions that work seamlessly with the other aspects of your security posture. This involves open and continual communication with your existing I.T. team and staff.

Other Considerations

Many cybersecurity companies claim to offer ASM solutions, but if they don’t include the three areas listed above, they aren’t adequately performing. Nevertheless, there are other factors to take into account that will dictate how you choose the right ASM solution for your unique security needs. Some other aspects you should consider are:

  • Customizations– There are cookie-cutter, off-the-shelf ASM solutions on the market, but you should find a cybersecurity solution tailored to your organization’s unique attack surface. 
  • Integrations– The best ASM solution teams can integrate with your existing I.T. and cybersecurity protocol. However, not all ASM programs offer integration, or it comes with a steep fee. When comparing programs, be sure to find out what integration options the ASM teams provide. 
  • Hosting Options- Some companies prefer to self-host all aspects of their security network, including their ASM solution. Others would rather have their ASM solutions fully managed by the attack surface management team. 
  • Customer Service– Decide what you want from your ASM team moving forward before you make a final choice. Do you want continuous access to someone to troubleshoot issues or answer questions? Be sure to consider this aspect regarding how you choose the right ASM solution.

Randori offers the best of the ASM solution options

Randori provides the most advanced and comprehensive ASM solution in the cybersecurity industry. When you are considering how to choose the right ASM solution, know that Randori has you covered. We will continuously monitor, secure and improve your organization’s security postures, effectively shrinking your attack surface.  Take control of your attack surface with us.

Gain an Attacker's Perspective

Uncover your true attack surface with the only ASM platform built by attackers. Stay one step ahead of cyber-criminals, hacktivists and nation-state attackers, by seeing your perimeter as they see it.