What is Extended Security Posture Management?

Cybersecurity management is more challenging today than ever before.

Remotely accessible business infrastructures are growing in complexity, and in turn, hacking methods are getting more sophisticated and difficult to mitigate.

Extended Security Posture Management (XSPM) is the latest response to the growing needs of teams that have to maintain security and protect their attack surface that often fluctuates in minutes.

What is XSPM, and how does it help IT teams to patch up critical vulnerabilities before they get exploited by hackers?

Combination of Several Cybersecurity Tools

Extended Security Posture Management has functions of different cybersecurity software designed to scan the attack surface, discover flaws in the system, provide detailed analytics, and mitigate threats. They include:

  • Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS)
  • Attack Surface Management (ASM)
  • Red/Purple Teaming

The above-mentioned tools have several overlapping capabilities. Extended Security Posture Management combines them in a single tool that organizations can run to scan, diagnose, and improve security.

Simulating Attacks to Uncover Weaknesses

As separate protective software, Breach and Attack Simulation has been used to imitate a real threat in a safe environment to test security strength. It runs in the background around the clock and assesses an ever-changing surface.

Essentially, it attacks the security and systems with old and new hacking techniques before cybercriminals do.

BAS approaches the network as a threat actor would and attacks parts of the system that have weaknesses which can be exploited. A successful simulated breach points the finger directly at the gaps in the security that have to be remedied.

Scanning the External Attack Surface for Leaked Data

Attack Surface Management is a type of software that discovers, analyses, and helps IT teams mitigate threats. It considers the wider definition of an attack surface and understands that leaked data is the first stop for hackers who are searching the web for their next easy target.

In the scanning and discovery phase, it scours the web for leaked passwords, shadow IT, corporate intelligence, or anything that could be used for phishing attacks.

As a result, it indicates easy fixes such as password changes and helps the company to regain control over the data that is available to threat actors.

Testing People Who Manage and Use a System

Red and Purple teaming are tools that test whether people who manage the system, as well as security controls, can protect their organization.

Results of both Red and Purple teaming indicate whether the cybersecurity professionals or employees need more cybersecurity training or if the security would benefit from additional tools.

Helpful For IT Teams Who Manage Security

Since it’s automated and runs in the background 24/7, XSPM takes does a lot of the legwork of overworked and overwhelmed professionals tasked with cybersecurity management.

It continually scans the growing attack surface and generates a report with its latest findings.

For teams that have to manage security, this means that they get a lot of data based on which they can make decisions on the spot. When patching up security, it’s important to be swift and patch up flaws before they are exploited.

What’s more, the forensic report is focused on the high-risk flaws within the system. 

This is critical as all too often teams are faced with thousands of vulnerabilities within the organizations they protect. Therefore, regardless of the manpower and resources they have, the network is never going to be 100% patched up and free of any flaws.

The report that highlights the high-risk issues in real-time aids them to focus on patching up critical issues before they turn into incidents. 

Detailed and straightforward documentation with suggestions of possible solutions and separated low and high risks is accessible to any member of the IT team.

Context Is a Priority For XSPM

The key feature that separates the XSPM from most tools is that it is capable of a comprehensive analysis of the currency posture in the context of the company.

Every business has different assets and technology that can be the target of hackers, such as cloud computing.

Assessment of the vulnerabilities and findings can be drastically different from one organization to another. What might be a severe flaw for one company might not translate to a high-risk issue for another.

XSPM runs with the unique context of the organization in mind to give IT teams the most accurate assessment of the current security posture of a company.

Continually Updated Management Software

Regular updates ensure that XSPM can discover and mitigate the latest attacks and hacking methods.

Some of the techniques that criminals use to breach systems have been on the radar of cybersecurity teams for decades. Common types include email phishing, malware injection, misconfigurations, unauthorized access, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Even though most companies have protective software such as firewalls and antivirus programs, that doesn’t make them immune to well-known threats.

For example, a firewall can fall in the middle of the night and hackers could use a more sophisticated version of a well-known malware to attack the network.

New (or zero-day threats), for which security teams aren’t yet prepared, cause major headaches as well.

To combat that issue, the management tool is linked to MITRE ATT&CK Framework, an extensive library that lists and describes various hacking methods. 

As this resource is continually being updated, it provides the latest data that can prevent hackers from using new techniques to attack organizations.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity is ever evolving because it has to play catch up with the latest hacking methods that cybercriminals use to exploit organizations and the increasing number of vulnerabilities within complex infrastructures. 

Extended Security Posture Management presents a reliable tool that offers comprehensive testing, scanning, analysis, and mitigation of threats as they appear within the system. 

Also, it observes potential vulnerabilities within the unique context of an organization to provide the most accurate and valuable findings for IT members that manage security.

BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.