5 Best Practices to Succeed in Attack Surface Management

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, organisations face an increasing number of cyber threats that can exploit vulnerabilities in their systems. In this article, we will explore five best practices to succeed in attack surface management and safeguard your digital assets. Attack surface management (ASM) is a crucial practice that helps businesses identify and minimise potential attack vectors. By proactively assessing and securing their attack surface, organisations can significantly reduce the risk of successful cyber attacks.

5 Best Practices to Succeed in Attack Surface Management


Effectively managing your attack surface is essential to safeguard your organisation’s digital assets from cyber threats. By implementing the five best practices discussed in this article—comprehensive asset discovery, continuous vulnerability assessment, patch management, configuration management, and employee awareness and training—you can enhance your security posture and reduce the risk of successful attacks.

Attack surface management is an ongoing process that requires continuous vigilance and adaptation to evolving cyber threats. Regularly assess your systems, prioritise patching, and maintain proper configurations. Additionally, invest in educating and training your employees to create a security-conscious culture within your organisation.

5 Best Practices to Succeed in Attack Surface Management

  1. Conduct a Comprehensive Asset Discovery: One of the first steps towards effective attack surface management is gaining a thorough understanding of your organisation’s digital assets. Conduct a comprehensive inventory of all systems, applications, and infrastructure components. Utilise automated tools and network scanners to identify devices and services connected to your network. This process helps uncover hidden assets, such as forgotten or unauthorised devices, minimising blind spots and reducing the overall attack surface. By conducting a comprehensive asset discovery, you can gain insights into the scope of your attack surface and identify potential vulnerabilities. This knowledge forms the foundation for effective risk management and targeted security measures.
  1. Implement Continuous Vulnerability Assessment: Regular vulnerability assessments are crucial for robust attack surface management. Adopt a proactive approach by using automated vulnerability scanning tools that provide real-time updates on potential weaknesses in your systems. Continuous vulnerability assessment enables you to identify and prioritise critical vulnerabilities promptly, allowing for timely remediation. By continuously assessing your systems for vulnerabilities, you can stay one step ahead of potential attackers. This proactive approach helps in promptly patching vulnerabilities, reducing the window of opportunity for exploitation.
  1. Prioritise Patch Management: Software vulnerabilities are often targeted by attackers to gain unauthorised access. Effective patch management is an essential component of attack surface management that involves keeping your systems and applications up to date with the latest security patches. Establish a robust patch management process to ensure the timely installation of patches and updates across your entire IT infrastructure. Regularly monitor vendor notifications and security advisories to stay informed about emerging threats and vulnerabilities. Prompt patching of known vulnerabilities significantly reduces the attack surface and strengthens your security posture.
  1. Focus on Configuration Management: Misconfigurations in systems and applications can leave organisations exposed to significant security risks. Implementing effective configuration management practices is essential to minimise the attack surface. Develop and enforce security configuration standards across your IT environment, ensuring consistent adherence to best practices. Use automated tools to continuously monitor and verify system configurations, ensuring they align with established security guidelines. Regularly review and update these standards to address emerging threats and maintain a robust security posture. By maintaining proper configurations, you reduce the potential for exploitable weaknesses.
  1. Foster Employee Awareness and Training: Attack surface management is not solely a technical responsibility; it requires the participation of all employees within an organisation. Promote a strong security culture by providing comprehensive cybersecurity awareness and training programs. Educate employees about the risks associated with the attack surface and empower them to adopt secure practices. Regularly reinforce security policies and procedures through training sessions, newsletters, and simulated phishing exercises. Additionally, by raising security awareness and providing ongoing training, you create a workforce that is knowledgeable and vigilant against potential threats. Employees become a valuable line of defence in protecting the attack surface.


By prioritising attack surface management, you demonstrate a proactive commitment to protecting your digital assets. Remember, a strong defence begins with understanding your assets, identifying vulnerabilities, and implementing robust security measures. Stay informed about the latest threats and best practices, and regularly review and update your security strategies.

By adopting these best practices, you can establish a resilient security framework that mitigates risks, defends against potential attacks, and ensures the safety and integrity of your organisation’s valuable data and systems. Protecting your attack surface is an ongoing journey, and by implementing these practices, you can stay ahead of threats and maintain a secure digital environment.

Further Reading

For more information about effective ASM, contact Elasticito here, or visit our website here.

View our latest webinar on ASM here.

Read an ASM blog written by Elasticito CTO, Andrew Brown, here.