July 24, 2023

Revealing Vulnerabilities’ True Dimensions: Illuminating Your Detection Surface with HivePro Uni5

The current cybersecurity space is highly complex for threat actors and security professionals alike as they both seek to contend with ever-expanding digital attack surfaces. This is especially challenging for cybersecurity professionals as, while threat actors find the ever-expanding digital attack surface rife with increased opportunity, they find it increasingly difficult to maintain sufficient protections against the vast array of potential attacks. Considering this reality, and that CISOs and their teams cannot pragmatically detect all possible points of threat actor infiltration, it is critical to deliberately assess and classify points within the attack surface where threat actors can potentially exploit the vulnerabilities. 

Forrester’s new idea of a “detection surface,” defined as “The IT asset type upon which detection of attacker activity occurs” (Forrester, 2023), comes into play as a beneficial new industry term allowing for optimization of cybersecurity efforts in response to the aforementioned issue of attack surfaces being too large for proper coverage. Detection surfaces enable cybersecurity teams to account for the reality that “detection surface bridges visibility and detection” by breaking “the myth that logging is the same as detection… Logging (when it’s actually in place) is visibility… Detection surface goes beyond logging and visibility… It’s about utility of detection, not presence of visibility” (Forrester, 2023). 

HivePro Uni5, a leading Threat Exposure Management (TEM) platform, enables cybersecurity leaders to effectively narrow down their attack surfaces into “true detection surfaces” by identifying the most critical exposure points, enriched with advanced vulnerability, threat and attack intelligence from HiveForce Labs. HivePro Uni5 highlights the impact of threat actor groups on organization assets by bridging the gap between threat actors’ evolving behavior and geopolitical influences, MITRE ATT&CK TTPs, and vulnerabilities they exploit. Armed with actionable tactical intelligence, organizations gain a proactive edge over threat actors, empowering them to better understand their  “true detection surface” where known vulnerabilities can be exploited.

An example wherein the Conti Ransomware threat actor group exploits a cluster of vulnerabilities serves to illustrate the aforementioned concept of identifying critical points within an enterprise’s attack surface. In this scenario, with a defense in depth in place, the practical attack surface encompasses all assets within one’s targeted organization. However, within this broad attack surface lies a vital subset of assets that hold the key to enhanced Threat Exposure Management—the true detection surface. It is within this consequential subset that Conti Ransomware is detectable as they strategically operate to exploit the vulnerabilities that lie upon one’s true detection surface. HivePro Uni5, in conjunction with scanning tools employed within a larger cybersecurity strategy, helps cybersecurity professionals understand this vital subset of assets that constitute a true detection surface and its key vulnerabilities.

But as the battle doesn’t end there, HivePro Uni5 further uses its aforementioned strategic intelligence feed to power its Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) functionality and enable organizations to test the efficacy of their security controls. Based on the outcome of these simulations, vulnerabilities are dynamically re-prioritized, ensuring continuous optimization of security measures. Hence, organizations can stay one step ahead of evolving threats and corresponding threat actor behaviors before subsequently making informed decisions to safeguard their assets with a dynamic focus on reducing the exposure of their most critical holdings. Such powerful prioritization, in alignment with the novel idea of Hive Pro driving understanding of true detection surfaces, ensures that HivePro Uni 5 can streamline workflows for CISOs and their teams, leading to greater success in contending with hackers’ ever-growing arsenal of TTPs in a cost and labor efficient manner.

Moving beyond the theoretical and into a real application of a true detection surface, the Hive Pro case study on a telecommunications client (who chose to remain anonymous) serves as a profound, data-driven testament to the efficacy of HivePro Uni5. The study revealed substantial improvements in critical vulnerability discovery (from 90 days to 60 days, a 30% enhancement), median identification time (from 5 days to 4 days, a 20% improvement), and mean exposure duration (from 60 days to 45 days, a 25% reduction). Despite the dynamic attack surface and ever-present threat actors, HivePro Uni5 proved invaluable in fortifying this organization’s true detection surface, where threat actors exploit vulnerabilities to cause harm. This case study highlights HivePro Uni5’s capability in significantly reducing mean-time-to-exposure, showcasing its ability to bolster security defenses effectively.

HivePro Uni5: Threat Exposure Management (TEM) is an all-in-one, fully-integrated platform that provides enhanced visibility into blindspots, vulnerability intelligence, threat actor exposure, threat and patch remediation intelligence, as well as security controls testing. Powered by such comprehensive information on threat actors and their behaviors, HivePro Uni5 enables streamlined remediations of vulnerabilities. Close the loop on risk management with auto-generated strategic, operational, and tactical reports through our TEM platform. Leverage the power of HiveForce Labs to contextualize the latest adversarial behaviors for your organization. Reach out today to start your free trial with Hive Pro and enhance your cybersecurity efforts.

Authors: Maadhavan Prasanna and Shashank Sharma
Hive Pro. (n.d.). Immediate Threat Reduction for *Skyreach Telecom. Hive Pro. https://www.hivepro.com/immediate-threat-reduction-for-a-telecom-company/

Mellen, A., Pollard, J., & Cser, A. (2023, June 26). Introducing Detection Surface, The Cybersecurity Defense That Parallels Attack Surface. Forrester Research. https://www.forrester.com/blogs/introducing-detection-surface-the-cybersecurity-defense-that-parallels-attack-surface/

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