April 2, 2024

Key Terms of Exposure Management: What You Need to Know

Zaira Pirzada

Vice President | Marketing

Keeping pace with the latest terminology and acronyms in cybersecurity can feel like trying to drink from a firehose. Individuals and organizations often find themselves reaching for a dictionary to decode the alphabet soup of acronyms and terminology that Gartner and similar experts continually introduce. Take, for instance, the new term “Exposure Management”: Exposure Management (EM) is a continuous and proactive approach to identifying, evaluating, and addressing an organization’s exposure to various cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. Exposure Management (EM) helps organizations enhance their cybersecurity resilience and reduce the potential impact of security incidents, and has been projected to reduce ⅔ of number breaches by 2026. Understanding what the term ‘exposure management’ entails and why it matters will require a deeper dive into complex cybersecurity jargon. We’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ll give you a teaser of the top 10 key terms that we’ve included among many others in the first ever ‘Exposure Management Dictionary’ which can be found here. Our aim is to provide you with a reliable reference for understanding all terms related to ‘Exposure Management’ so that you can outmaneuver threats and build for cyber resilience. 

Attack Surface Management (ASM):

A proactive cybersecurity practice and a set of strategies and tools aimed at identifying, monitoring, and managing the attack surface of an organization. It involves assessing and reducing the exposure of potential vulnerabilities and entry points that could be exploited by cyber threats. 

Attack Path Mapping:

A methodology that involves identifying, visualizing, and documenting the various steps, vulnerabilities, and tactics that an attacker might use to compromise a target system, network, or organization. It provides a clear, graphical representation of how an attacker could progress through a series of vulnerabilities and access points to achieve their malicious objectives.

Breach & Attack Simulation (BAS):

A technology that involves simulating various real-world cyberattacks and security breaches to assess an organization’s security posture, identify vulnerabilities, improve security controls and evaluate its ability to detect and respond to threats effectively. It provides a controlled and safe environment for an organization to test their defenses and incident response capabilities for better preparation against evolving cyber threats.

Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management (CAASM):

A cybersecurity practice and set of strategies aimed at identifying, analyzing, and managing the attack surface of an organization’s digital assets. It relies on comprehensive asset identification to measure and reduce the exposure of potential vulnerabilities and entry points that could be exploited by cyber threats with a specific focus on the organization’s assets.

Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM):

A proactive approach to cybersecurity that involves continuously monitoring, assessing, and managing an organization’s exposure to various threats, vulnerabilities, and risks. This practice focuses on real-time and ongoing threat visibility, risk assessment, and mitigation efforts, enabling organizations to adapt quickly to changing cyber threats and protect their digital assets effectively.

Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI):

Information and insights collected, analyzed, and disseminated regarding potential and current cyber threats to help organizations understand the tactics, techniques, procedures, motivations, and infrastructure employed by cyber threat actors. CTI assists with identifying and mitigating cybersecurity risks by providing actionable intelligence that enables proactive threat detection, incident response, and the development of effective security strategies.

Exposure Management (EM):

The ongoing process of identifying, evaluating, and proactively addressing an organization’s exposure to various cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. It encompasses activities such as vulnerability assessments, risk evaluations, and threat monitoring to gain a comprehensive view of an organization’s threat landscape and the potential impact of security vulnerabilities. Exposure Management focuses on reducing an organization’s attack surface and minimizing its susceptibility to cyber threats by implementing mitigation strategies, security controls, and remediation measures. This continuous and proactive approach helps organizations enhance their cybersecurity resilience and reduce the potential impact of security incidents.

Risk-Based Vulnerability Management (RBVM):

A strategic approach to identifying, prioritizing, and addressing vulnerabilities in an organization’s IT environment based on their potential impact and the associated risks. Instead of treating all vulnerabilities equally, RBVM assesses them in the context of the organization’s specific risk tolerance, business objectives, and threat landscape. It involves evaluating vulnerabilities not only by their technical severity but also by considering factors such as their exploitability, the value of the affected assets, and the potential impact on business operations.

Security Posture Management (SPM):

A comprehensive approach and set of practices that focus on assessing, monitoring, and enhancing an organization’s overall security posture. SPM involves continuous evaluation of security controls, configurations, and vulnerabilities across an organization’s IT infrastructure, including networks, systems, cloud environments, and applications. This practice aims to identify and address security gaps, misconfigurations, and potential risks by providing real-time insights into the security status of digital assets.

Vulnerability Prioritization Technology (VPT):

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Advanced tools and methodologies used to evaluate and rank security vulnerabilities based on their potential impact and the associated risks. To be trustworthy and successful, VPT relies on several key inputs, including real-time threat intelligence, asset inventory data, contextual information about the organization’s environment, historical data on past vulnerabilities and their exploitation, and industry-specific insights. By leveraging these inputs, VPT can provide organizations with a prioritized list of vulnerabilities that need immediate attention, allowing them to allocate resources effectively and address the most critical security issues first. This approach helps organizations strengthen their cybersecurity defenses, reduce exposure to cyber threats, and optimize their vulnerability management efforts.

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