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    Security and IT teams work with — and manage — some of the most sophisticated tools on the planet. 

    But many of the traditional security tools that help with threats act in silos. They often don’t provide a comprehensive view of a company’s actual (and possible) risk. As a result, security and IT teams need a way to piece together what the threat landscape actually looks like.  

    A cybersecurity asset attack surface management (CAASM) solution puts all the pieces of the cyber attack surface together, providing a complete (and actionable) picture of every asset across a company’s IT environment. 

    Read on to learn about the five reasons that are impacting the growth of CAASM solutions. 

    The drivers of CAASM adoption

    Many legacy approaches for asset management only focus on certain assets. For example, network scanners create information about devices by scanning the network — but can only scan the devices they know to look for. 

    Often, tools focus on a specific set of assets, only offering visibility into what they’re designed to do. On top of that, legacy solutions frequently come with limitations on what they can’t see. 

    Between traditional security products’ limitations and the sprawl of devices, apps, cloud services, and more, security and IT teams are faced with more complexity in the cyber attack surface. 

    Through API connections, CAASM bridges the silos of tools already in use. The CAASM solution collects source data about assets and asset-related information, then correlates that data for a full context of a company’s entire cyber attack surface. 

    For an in-depth understanding, here are five reasons why CAASM adoption is rising. 

    1. Comprehensive visibility

    Before CAASM solutions, IT and security had three primary ways of creating accurate, up-to-date asset inventories:

    • Excel: Exporting data in CSVs from multiple sources into one gigantic spreadsheet with pivot tables. 
    • Homegrown scripts: Creating, writing, updating, and maintaining scripts to pull data from tools, and then trying to deconflict and normalize the output.
    • CMDBs: Counting on a CMDB to provide up-to-date information.

    Yet all of these options used to develop and maintain asset inventories have various challenges. 

    • Manually compiling an asset inventory with Excel takes a lot of hours (86, to be exact). Unfortunately, due to constant change in cybersecurity environments, the results are already outdated by the time the inventory is finished. 
    • Homegrown scripts require a lot of time and resources to provide the same data insights found in a CAASM solution. Plus, scripts need constant maintenance whenever there’s a change.   
    • CMDBs struggle providing a complete picture of all assets (especially virtual machines and cloud workloads) at any given time.

    The constant rate of change in IT environments makes finding, managing, and securing assets tedious and error-prone. Using a CAASM solution, data is collected from all relevant sources at customer-defined fetch intervals. This assures the asset data is both comprehensive and timely. 

    2. Ability to query across all data sources

    CAASM solutions offer the ability to ask questions that span all data sources. Queries can range from the basic (“How many Windows devices do I have?”), to the more complex (“Which of my Windows 10 devices running a vulnerable version of Chrome has an EDR agent installed, but it’s not functioning?”).

    3. Less manual audits and compliance reporting

    With a comprehensive inventory of all assets, along with queries to understand how those assets either adhere to or deviate from policy expectations, queries can be saved to automatically satisfy audits and map to regulations.

    4. A single source of truth

    Anyone can grab data from an API, but making sense of it and getting a single source of truth view is hard. 

    A true CAASM solution aggregates and normalizes data into a one consolidated dashboard, so IT and cybersecurity can operate from the same set of normalized data.  

    5. Maintain the status quo when changing technologies

    Change is one of the few certainties in cybersecurity. And change is constant. Organizations will replace tools when they find more compelling options. They’ll also add new products to secure and manage assets when the time comes. 

    But switching out or replacing tools is daunting. The reasons can range from vetting, setting up, and integrating a new security solution to training and getting buy-in from leadership and employees.  

    A CAASM solution is driven by open APIs, allowing for adding, removing, and replacing tools while still supporting each data source. Even when tools change, security and IT professionals have the same visibility, query functionality, and response actions as before. 

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