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Clear Sight in a Murky World: The Importance of Exposure Management

Organisations in the modern digital world must contend with a constantly growing attack surface. There is an alarming increase in the number of security holes and access points as technology develops. Risk-Based Vulnerability Management (RBVM) as it has traditionally been implemented is insufficient to safeguard assets in the current climate. There has to be a change in emphasis from RBVM to exposure management in the corporate world.

For many years, RBVM has been the go-to strategy for cybersecurity. The concept is straightforward: Locate security holes in your systems and rank them according to the threat they pose to your business. However, this strategy is reactive and does not account for the dynamic nature of the threats we face today. Organisations need to be more proactive in the face of these dangers if they want to survive.

Exposure Management: From Blind Spots to Clear Sight

The term "exposure management" refers to a more comprehensive strategy that considers not only vulnerabilities but also the full "attack surface" of a company. It's about becoming familiar with your company's environment's human and technological components. To put it another way, this method improves the accuracy with which firms can detect and convey cyber hazards, leading to more informed business decisions.

The lack of a unified perspective of the organisation's attack surface is a major obstacle to the success of any exposure control programme. Most businesses have invested in new, specialised technologies to handle each component of the attack surface as it has grown but this has led to a hazy picture of the attack surface as a whole. It becomes more challenging to set priorities and effectively respond to threats.
 
Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM): From Reactive to Proactive

A Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM) programme is the solution to this problem. This approach considers the surface area that may be attacked today, applying technical and business context to better detect and convey cyber risk. Gartner predicts that by 2026, businesses that base their security spending priorities on a CTEM programme will be three times less likely to experience a breach.

Gaining all-encompassing sight over the contemporary attack surface is a crucial first step in developing a CTEM campaign. To do this, one must have a comprehensive perspective of the potential vectors of attack, including external elements such as SaaS apps and supply chain partners. Furthermore, businesses must use context to foresee dangers and prioritise actions based on what would avoid the most likely assaults.

Accurately relaying cyber risk to all levels of the firm is another crucial part of a CTEM strategy. When risks are made known, stakeholders are better able to take measures that ultimately benefit the company. For this, reliable channels of communication and an authoritative response to the question "How secure are we?" are essential.

The goal of exposure management is to not only identify weak spots and potential threats but also to take steps to mitigate them. Specifically in cases when the participants in the process share responsibility for the evaluation, tracking, management, and remediation of exposure, this calls for cross-team collaboration and federation of tasks and accountability.
 
If businesses want to keep one step ahead of ever-evolving cyber threats, they must make the transition from a risk-based vulnerability management strategy to a continuous threat exposure management plan. The attack surface is growing in size and complexity but with a CTEM programme in place, businesses can comprehend the big picture and make educated decisions that will lessen the probability of a breach. Understanding the full scope of risks and taking appropriate action is more important than simply pinpointing potential weak spots.

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