How to Reduce Your Attack Surface With Anti Virus Program

What Is an Attack Surface?

An attack surface is everything where an attacker could get into a system and where they could get data out. Simply put, it refers to all the ways your apps can possibly be exploited by cybercriminals. This doesn't only include software, operating systems, network services, and protocols but domain names and SSL certificates as well.

There are two main types of attack surfaces that can affect your company:

Digital attack surface

The digital variety is one of the most popular types of attack surfaces. Every computer and device connected to the Internet is bared to remote attacks, as well as local networks even if they aren't connected. This attack surface includes networks, ports, software applications, operating system services, web and desktop applications, and more.

Physical attack surface

The physical attack surface, on the other hand, includes everything related to hardware and physical devices. A few examples include tablets, mobile phones, notebooks, desktop computers, switches, routers, tower or rack servers, TVs, printers, USB ports, surveillance cameras, etc. The moment the attacker successfully gained access to the physical device, they'll try to explore the systems and networks where the device is connected in order to:

  • check the running databases and the information stored there
  • assess the source code of the running software if found
  • crack login credentials to gain access to privileged areas
  • create a digital map of all the network, ports and services
  • transfer sensitive information to removable devices or send it to remote servers
  • upload virus, malware or backdoors to infect the operating system

Even though your company may already be using advanced protective measures, such as biometric access control systems, access control cards and door locking that prevents tailgating and pretexting social techniques, keep in mind that an attacker doesn't have to be inside the physical place or office to take control of a physical device. Social engineering or rogue employees can also be the open door to unauthorized access from the outside.

Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce your company's attack surface as simple as downloading the best anti virus program like the Comodo Internet Security (CIS). Read on as we compile some of the best ways on how to do so.

5 Ways to Reduce Company’s Attack Surface

Establish programmable security

Security is automatically applied as the attack surface changes and new instances are established when you utilize a Software-Defined Perimeter apart from using anti virus program. This is a scalable approach, which is also compatible with your existing networks. Unlike perimeter-based solutions that require massive WAN links to connect diverse backend networks, your users can still connect to unlimited resources simultaneously.

Inspect your network ports

Going over the open ports in your public IP addresses is often the first thing cybercriminals do when performing InfoSec reconnaissance on any target. The good news is that there are many ways for you to stay one step ahead of these malicious actors by beginning to audit your network ports before they do.

Spread out your network

Refrain from keeping all your assets within a single network. Instead, you should split and spread out your network to efficiently reduce your attack surface. This move will also help increase your network barriers and help you secure a better and more effective server or desktop controls overall machines connected to your network.

Remove nonessential OS software and services

Be sure to install only the applications that are strictly necessary for your workforce's daily work and disable all unused protocols or services. Cleaning up your operating system also includes removing unnecessary functions, applications, and system tools.

Assess your SSL certificates

While it's true that SSL certificates are a way to prove a website is secure, keep in mind that SSL security doesn't end up in your hardening, chain and overall security score. You should consider the data you're exposing to the public as well. Your attack surface includes all your SSL certificates, including valid, active and expired ones. As such, you need to answer questions like, are you keeping your SSL chains complete and well-secured? How fortified are your SSL certificates? Are you using robust cipher suites?

Just as we've stated above, your employees are one of the weakest links in the cybersecurity chain of your online business. To avoid getting tricked by social engineering calls or phishing emails, be sure to give your staff proper training in addition to using the best anti virus program. Teaching them correct policies regarding the use of unknown and unauthorized devices in the office can help minimize baiting attacks as well.