What is the attack surface?

In information security, the attack surface refers to all the entry points or flaws that a malicious actor could use to break into a system or network.

It consists of various elements such as:

  • software;
  • operating systems;
  • network connections;
  • IP addresses/CIDRs;
  • domain names/subdomains;
  • open ports;
  • user accounts;
  • hardware devices, etc.

Each of these elements may have its own security gaps or weaknesses that a malicious actor could take advantage of.

The attack surface tends to grow larger when there are more potential points of failure that a malicious actor could target to compromise the security of a system. For instance, a system with multiple exposed network ports, outdated software, and weak user authentication mechanisms offers a bigger attack surface with more chances for malicious actors to exploit.

Organizations and security professionals strive to shrink the attack surface by applying various security measures such as regular software updates and patches, strong access controls, intrusion detection systems, and vulnerability scanning.

We provide threat intelligence feeds that contain IoCs in CSV/JSON formats. You can use them to detect possible or actual malicious activities in your networks/systems. This way, you can secure the potential weak points that are often attacked and reduce your attack surface.

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