The Hottest Trend in Cybersecurity: Why CAASM

There is a new trend in the cybersecurity circle; Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management, CAASM. This hottest trend in cybersecurity was born out of persistent asset visibility and vulnerability challenges faced by IT and security teams. 

When we point our arrows to "why now and not then" questions, the obvious answer would be the growing popularity of multi-cloud usage and expanding attack surfaces. As the volume of assets multiplies and spreads, it becomes even more challenging to see where each asset resides or identify vulnerabilities and respond fast. 

Being a minefield for security, unmonitored assets risk getting exploited by malicious threat actors. As the latest emerging technology, CAASM is set out to address this unaddressed struggle. 

What is Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management (CAASM)? 

Coined by Gartner in the Hype Cycle of Network Security 2021 report, Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management (CAASM) is a relatively new category in the cybersecurity ecosystem. Gartner defines CAASM as "an emerging technology that enables security teams to solve persistent asset visibility and vulnerability challenges." (Gartner)

So if you ask, "What is CAASM?" our answer is:

CAASM is an emerging technology that enables organizations to consolidate and normalize assets sprawled across an expanded IT environment. It allows you to monitor, query, and centralize all internal and external data regardless of where they reside.

This emerging trend addresses the visibility and security challenges of ever-increasing cyber assets. Tools belonging to the CAASM category enable IT and security teams to:

  • Gain unified visibility across all assets (internal and external)
  • Monitor siloed and dispersed assets by integrating them with existing tools
  • Query against the consolidated data
  • Collect evidence for compliance reporting
  • Identify the scope of vulnerabilities and expedite remediation and incident response

Learn the difference between CSPM vs. CAASM.

Why CAASM is an Emerging Technology

what is CAASM and why it emerged

Now that we have covered the CAASM definition, it's time we dig deeper into why CAASM technology emerged and the drivers behind CAASM adoption. The answer is simple; the IT world has evolved in time with digital transformation. Today, it's more complicated than ever for IT, security, and cloud teams to answer even the basic questions regarding their cyber assets and complex environments.

  • Which accounts in my cloud environment are vulnerable?
  • How many unknown assets are there in my organization?
  • What are my vulnerable and critical cyber assets (accounts, buckets, devices, users, networks, etc.)? And more

IT complexity escalates visibility obstacles across diverse, contradictory, and siloed assets. This problem requires a new approach to overcome the challenges existing solutions cannot solve. It must be able to automatically and continuously collect updated assets in one place to simplify the asset attack surface management process. 

After all, the logic behind it falls down to "you cannot secure or manage what you can't see."

Benefits of Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management

Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management solutions can boost IT and security teams' productivity by accelerating SecOps operations and increasing visibility across complex assets. A powerful CAASM platform provides security teams with detailed context and centralized visibility to run more effective security programs. The benefits of Cyber Asset Attack Security Management technology include:

  • Unified visibility across all cyber assets: According to a survey, securing cloud resources forms 31% of the top challenges associated with the public cloud. Assets are diverse–IAM policies, roles, S3 buckets, repositories, pull requests, users, and more. A powerful solution like Resmo consolidates both cloud and SaaS assets in one place to empower security and developer teams to gain complete visibility. 
  • Understanding contextual relationships between assets: Optimum CAASM solutions offer visualization (like a graph-based model) of cyber assets to help organizations understand and map contextual asset relationships.
  • Faster security gap detection and response: An efficient CAASM platform helps you discover security gaps across your cyber asset landscape and accelerate the investigation and response processes. It allows you to visually investigate your resources and query them for instant answers. 
  • Continuously monitor asset compliance: Automation is a make-or-break deal for modern IT teams. CAASM platforms can automate compliance checks. Resmo, for example, allows you to use conformance packs and set up rules for automated security and compliance best practices checks.
  • Answer complex questions across cyber assets: The ability to query assets might be the most powerful feature of a CAASM solution. An advanced CAASM platform enables you to query your entire asset environment and receive instant, up-to-date, and detailed answers.

What are the Common Use Cases of CAASM?

common use cases of cyber asset attack surface management

Cloud and SaaS Security: Multi-cloud or not, CAASM technology ensures complete visibility and understanding of your AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform asset inventory. With CAASM, developers and security teams can quickly find misconfigurations and automatically audit cloud and SaaS resources for compliance.

You might also like our recommendations on Google Workspace security.

Cyber Asset Management: CAASM helps gain complete visibility and a bird’s-eye view of your cyber assets to enhance your security posture and cybersecurity hygiene. You can identify assets in your organization, vulnerabilities, and security gaps.

Continuous Compliance: Automate evidence collection for compliance frameworks like SOC2, HIPAA, NIST Cybersecurity, and more.

Identity and Access Management: Monitor user access permissions and entitlement issues such as who has admin permissions.

Vulnerability and Incident Response: Detects risks and blast radius related to vulnerability discoveries. CAASM expedites incident response times by helping you map asset relationships. 

Removing Asset Security Obstacles Off the Way

A comprehensive Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management solution helps you continuously monitor your expanding cyber assets by integrating with your existing tools. It lets you draw logical connections between assets such as git repositories, identities, cloud workloads, EC2 instances, etc. The whole solution cuts the process of monitoring, securing, gaining relationship context, and asking complex questions on assets down to an instant.

Resmo S3 bucket SQL query

As a solution that fits somewhere on the "CAASM and more" spectrum, Resmo allows teams to:

  • Query all cloud and SaaS resources with the familiar SQL language
  • Monitor your entire cyber asset inventory in one place 
  • Automate security, compliance, and best practice checks with rules
  • Identify vulnerabilities and get notified of rule violations in real-time.
  • Track asset change histories
  • Get contextual visibility and accelerate incident response

Whether you adopt a CAASM service or not, we advise that you keep a watchful eye on cybersecurity trends to recognize threats or solutions faster in this continuously transforming digital environment. 

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