Exposure Management
5 Mnutes

Exploitation Intelligence + Asset Context = Enhanced Cyber Threat Management: Are You Ready for a Proactive Cybersecurity Equation?

Effectively combining exploitation intelligence with asset context is key to proactive vulnerability management and threat detection for combating and thwarting modern-day complex security risks.

Exploitation Intelligence:

Exploitation intelligence involves understanding current vulnerabilities and the tactics attackers use. It helps in identifying which vulnerabilities are actively being exploited, guiding organizations to prioritize patching the most critical issues. The notable benefits of using exploitation intelligence include:

  • Offering insights into recent exploits and vulnerabilities targeted by attackers.
  • Identifying vulnerabilities actively exploited in the wild.
  • Providing details on attackers’ methods and tactics.
  • Helping prioritize patching based on critical vulnerabilities and attack trends.
Asset Context:

Understanding asset context is about knowing the importance and vulnerability of different organizational assets. This information is crucial to determine the potential impact of attacks and to align security efforts with the protection of vital assets.

The notable advantages of using asset context include:

  • Giving information on the importance and vulnerability of assets.
  • Highlighting which assets are more prone to attacks.
  • Assessing the impact of potential breaches on each asset.
  • Aiding in directing security efforts towards crucial assets.

The integration of these two aspects enables organizations to proactively address the most pressing vulnerabilities. By understanding both the nature of threats and the value of assets, security teams can efficiently allocate efforts and time to areas with the highest risk.

In practice, this means that when a security team learns about a new exploit, they can quickly assess which of their systems are most at risk and prioritize remediation accordingly. Similarly, if there’s intelligence about industry-targeted attacks, organizations can evaluate which of their assets might be at risk and fortify defenses.

"For example, intelligence indicating that the REvil ransomware group is exploiting a known vulnerability in Fortinet VPNs can be crucial for quickly identifying and validating vulnerabilities in an organization's exposed Fortinet devices, followed by appropriate remediation steps to protect against this specific threat."

The challenge lies in obtaining timely and accurate exploitation intelligence, having a deep understanding of organizational assets, and effectively analyzing this information to make informed decisions. A structured approach to vulnerability prioritization and threat mitigation is essential.

A Strategic Approach to External Cyber Threat Management

NST Assure Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM) platform stands out by integrating exploitation intelligence, asset contextualization, vulnerability prioritization and exploitation validation elements into a comprehensive threat management strategy.

The platform goes beyond basic vulnerability tracking by:

  • Utilizing AI for observation contextualization and advanced discovery of the external attack surface.
  • Automatically discovering and cataloging all organizational assets, including cloud resources and network devices.
  • Mapping the attack surface with asset and threat context, ensuring continuous prioritization.
  • Assessing vulnerabilities in relation to the criticality of affected assets with safe and controlled exploitation validation.

NST Assure CTEM’s approach helps prioritize vulnerabilities effectively, combining exploitability and asset criticality. It supports real-time response to emerging threats and enables an automated remediation process with defense instrumentation. Continuous monitoring and detailed contextualization followed by vulnerability prioritization and exploitation validation help to maintain security posture hygiene over time, aiding in compliance and strategic security planning.

By focusing on external attack surface management and critical asset protection, NST Assure CTEM facilitates a shift towards a proactive security posture, focusing on the most critical vulnerabilities and threats.

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