The attack surface of a system is the sum of the different points (the so-called attack vectors) where an unauthorized user (the attacker) can try to enter data into the system or extract data from it.
In order to secure a system, it is important to first understand its attack surface. This can be a difficult task, as the attack surface of a system is constantly changing as new features are added and new vulnerabilities are discovered.
Once the attack surface is understood, it is important to reduce it as much as possible. This can be done by removing unnecessary features, hardening existing features, and adding security controls.
What is meant by an attack surface?
An attack surface is the total sum of the potential weak points that an attacker can target in order to gain access to a system. It includes all of the system's components, from the hardware to the software, and all of the system's interfaces, both public and private. The larger the attack surface, the greater the risk of a successful attack.
A system's attack surface can be reduced by removing unnecessary components and by improving security at all of the system's interfaces.
What are the types of attack surface?
The attack surface of a network is the sum of the different points (the so-called attack vectors) where an unauthorized user can try to enter data into the network or system, or where he can try to disrupt normal operation.
The main types of attack surface are:
- Physical access: this is the most obvious type of attack surface, and it includes all the points where someone can physically access the network or system, such as the data center, the server room, the workstations, the laptops, the mobile devices, etc.
- Network access: this type of attack surface includes all the points where someone can access the network, such as the routers, the switches, the wireless access points, etc.
- Application access: this type of attack surface includes all the points where someone can access the applications, such as the web servers, the database servers, the email servers, etc.
- Data access: this type of attack surface includes all the points where someone can access the data, such as the file servers, the database servers, the email servers, etc.
What is attack surface vs attack vector?
Attack surface refers to the totality of the potential points of vulnerability in a system. This includes every possible way that an attacker could gain access to the system and exploit it. The larger the attack surface, the greater the risk.
Attack vector, on the other hand, refers to the specific path or method that an attacker uses to gain access to a system and exploit it. A given system may have a large attack surface, but only a few attack vectors that are actually feasible.
What are the 7 layers of cyber security?
There are 7 layers of cyber security, which are:
1. Physical security
2. Hardware security
3. Software security
4. Data security
5. Application security
6. Network security
7. User security
What is attack surface analysis?
Attack surface analysis is the process of identifying all potential points of entry into a system, both physical and logical. This includes anything that could be used to gain access to sensitive data or disrupt normal system operation.
The goal of attack surface analysis is to reduce the overall risk to a system by identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities. This can be done through a variety of means, such as system hardening, security controls, and incident response planning.