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

March 1, 2023

Reducing IoT attacks with ASM

By: Randori Blog

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Attack Surface Management is the best way to protect your organization’s IoT from cyber-attacks. Through continuously monitoring your assets and using the most advanced approaches to cybersecurity available. 

What is IoT?

The Internet of Things, otherwise referred to as IoT, is a system of endpoint devices that are connected via a closed wireless network. These devices are all part of one organization or business, but can include vastly different endpoint machines. For example, a company’s IoT may include office computers, smart devices like printers, security devices, industry-specific devices connected to the network, and any individual devices. You need to secure and harden all those devices and the network in between them to prevent cyberattacks.. One way of protecting against IoT attacks is through Attack Surface Management or ASM. 

What is ASM?

Attack surface management, or ASM, provides an outside perspective on a business’ attack surface. An attack surface is the entirety of a company’s digital assets that cyber threat terrorists could target. This includes but is not limited to wireless networks, IoTs, IPs, hostnames, domains, and data.  ASM protects the attack surface by continuously monitoring for attacks, detecting weaknesses, and revising security protocols when needed. 

How Does ASM Reduce IoT Attacks?

ASM is one of the most effective ways of protecting a company’s IoT from cybersecurity threats. The high number of endpoint devices and users connected to the wireless network frequently causes IoT attacks. Each one of those devices, endpoint users and data transfers becomes a potential attack vector that malcontents can exploit. 

Detects Exposed IoT Assets

Attack surface management teams keep your organization’s cybersecurity posture one step ahead of IoT attacks through meticulously scanning for exposed IoT assets. Once weaknesses are found, they can be hardened, encrypted, or eliminated before a cybersecurity breach occurs. 

Every time your organization grows or changes, gaps are created that become potential gateways to sensitive data. Through routine transformation, cloud migration, software and application updates, or shadow IT, typical monitoring tools lose track of unused or forgotten digital assets. Those assets become potential attack vectors that attackers can exploit. Part of ASM’s scan for exposed assets looks for old and unused files that are still connected to the network. 

Black Box Reconnaissance

Using elite red teams, black box reconnaissance techniques help ASM teams find the easiest pathways through your cyber security perimeter. Black box resonance views your organization through the lens of a cyber threat and tries to determine the most likely way an attacker would target your IoT assets. This approach differs from other security internal-only viewpoints of your security perimeter and finds at-risk assets that others miss. 

Continuously Monitors IoT Attack Surface

Attack surface management teams have created software that continuously monitors the attack surface of your organization. This records the organic shifts and interactions that your network IoT experiences throughout an entire day, instead of prescribing a cyber security protocol based on a small snapshot that other cybersecurity companies rely on.

Continuous monitoring helps detect suspicious users and interactions that signal that your IoT could be under attack. You can implement immediate countermeasures and mitigation procedures to secure the weakness, and continuously monitor all parts of your IoT, including cloud infrastructure and network access.

Determine the Assets Most At Risk

Different IoT assets are worth different things to your organization and to potential cyber attackers. Attack surface management teams will run a risk assessment on all your IoT assets to determine which assets need the most protection and would most likely be targeted in an IoT attack.

ASM also gives real-time risk assessments to monitor what assets might be more at threat as your company evolves and changes. IoT assets are typically prioritized assets with the most impact, value, and remediation. 

Applies Industry Endpoint User Best Practices

An attack surface management team will ensure that all IoT endpoint users follow cybersecurity industry best practices. These are things that employees, third party vendors or customers can be prompted to do that help reduce IoT attacks. Here are some examples of a few endpoint user best practices: 

    • Password Security – ASM assures that employees, as well as other endpoint users, use industry best practices regarding passwords. ASM teams can also prompt users to reset passwords routinely, as well as during a potential breach or if a data leak occurs. 
    • Make sure to keep all devices up to date and secure. Update all endpoint devices such as cellphones, computers, network servers, and transmission modules as soon as new software versions, hardware, or applications are available.
    • Device Inventory – Endpoint devices are physically accounted for and inventoried properly so that nothing is missing or containing physical additions that aren’t secured. The team digitally inventories devices to ensure they have vetted, approved, and secured all installed software, applications, and hardware.


Shadow IT Discovery

A large portion of data breaches begin with unknown assets that are from an unknown origin. ASM helps identify these assets through security postures, focusing on policy and workflows. By fully integrating with an IoT network, ASM makes it easy to find Shadow IT and remove it from your organization’s IoT. 

IoT and ASM: Don’t have one without the other.

If you want your organization’s IoT protected from cyber-attacks, then the best way to cover the entirety of your attack surface is through ASM. Attack surface management will continuously monitor your IoT network for risks and employ unique tools to find the areas that are at risk for IoT attacks. If you’re worried that your organization’s IoT is not protected to the optimum level, click HERE to learn more about how Randori can help. 


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