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What is Automated Onboarding in ASM?

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June 16, 2022

While attack surface management (ASM) onboarding may fall lower on the priority list when it comes to considering threat detection and response solutions, the way you start has a significant impact on where your solution can take you. The best way to begin is to take on the perspective of the attacker; an attacker-centric approach to ASM helps organizations to quickly identify and resolve the issues that will actually leave them vulnerable.

Whether you’re a large organization with an extensive attack surface on the Internet or you’re acquiring a new company for which you have little knowledge of their attack surface, it’s essential to leverage the power of automated onboarding to discover the most unknown assets. Let’s discuss the importance of attack surface discovery and how leveraging automated onboarding in ASM provides the optimal jumpstart to effectively manage your attack surface.

How can there be assets we don’t know about?

Attack surfaces are growing 1.5 to 2.6 times per year. Without ASM automation and constant Internet monitoring, it is impossible to find every asset, known and unknown. With the level of data quality discovered through ASM, companies are constantly finding assets and applications on the Internet that they previously didn’t know existed. These could include a rogue cloud instance or other unsanctioned infrastructures established by different parts of the organization. Unknown assets can result from external factors outside the organization, such as:

  • The cloud’s increasingly complex, distributed, and ephemeral nature
  • Rising trends of putting internal, web-based services on the Internet
  • Acquisitions that result in inheriting immature security practices and unknown assets
  • Outsourcing non-essential services to third parties

They can also take place as a result of specific security reasons, including:

  • Not properly decommissioning old systems
  • Not enforcing authentication on one-off applications
  • Failure to patch for software vulnerabilities
  • One-off reactions for major vulnerabilities rather than a formalized approach
  • The use of compromised or misconfigured storage buckets containing company and customer data

In addition, unknown assets can arise from larger organizational reasons, such as:

  • Workflow dysfunction
  • Complex internal setups
  • Shadow IT
  • Alert fatigue
  • Compliance issues
  • Security teams having no control over external assets

How does Automated Onboarding with Censys ASM improve attack surface discovery?

Censys’ attack surface management solution is designed to help organizations have the strongest start for the most comprehensive results of their attack surface discovery.

Why automated onboarding matters
All external attack surface management (EASM) products require some data from which to start. The quality of the inputted data affects the quality of the data outputs; the better input data quality, the more likely your team is to discover your entire Internet-facing attack surface.

When it comes to large companies with an extensive attack surface on the Internet, Censys’ automated onboarding leverages cutting-edge automation coupled with the best industry-wide Internet visibility to find more unknowns and unmanaged assets than any other threat detection solution.

Automated onboarding with Censys is uniquely valuable for asset discovery related to company acquisitions. During an acquisition, the security teams often have little to no time to prepare for inheriting an entirely new infrastructure. This means they do not know what cloud environments to expect, which certificate issuers are being used, or what risks already exist in this recently acquired business. With Censys ASM’s automated onboarding, the security team can include specific acquisition targets in the attack surface discovery process to receive a complete view of vulnerable assets—within minutes and with little prior knowledge of the acquired company.

Censys ASM has set the bar for automated onboarding and attack surface discovery
Censys is built on top of the best Internet-wide visibility. This fact, coupled with our attribution algorithm and our daily refresh of the attack surface, results in the highest quality and most up-to-date attack surface compared to competitors.

In addition, the Censys approach to attribution and data greatly reduces the number of false positives that get pulled into your attack surface. In head-to-head competitor comparisons, Censys produced 10% fewer false positives. False positives are the bane of any security team, so having fewer of them will save your security team from wasting time on phantom issues and allow you to effectively allocate time to top priorities.

How to get started with Censys ASM automated onboarding
With Censys, you can start building your attack surface in minutes through automated onboarding. Simply provide your company name and let Censys’ continuous, automated discovery algorithm discover your infrastructure and create your attack surface in five simple steps:

  1. Input a company name
  2. Review subsidiaries part of the company
  3. Review registrant information
  4. Review your manual data entered
  5. Submit

During asset and attack surface discovery, Censys looks for a few specific factors for each asset:

  • Status: Whether it is actively being used or has been decommissioned
  • Location: Where the asset is found, such as internal infrastructures, cloud environment, or other Internet location
  • Ownership: What team, individual, or company owns and/or hosts the asset

The elements of status, location, and ownership provides essential context for each asset, helping security teams prioritize vulnerabilities and initiate remediation faster.

Start off strong with Censys’ ASM Automated Onboarding

In order to effectively detect and remediate vulnerabilities, security teams need to start with the right onboarding and attack surface discovery process. Censys’ ASM pairs automated onboarding with the most comprehensive asset discovery algorithm to create the right security solution for any organization. Ready to see what your attack surface looks like in real-time? Schedule a demo with Censys today.

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