The Rise of Real Time Exposure Detection

Maor Idan
December 14, 2023
min. read


In the ongoing battle between cyber adversaries and defenders, the odds are often stacked against the guardians of digital assets. Defenders face a challenging task – they must secure their systems 100% of the time, while adversaries need only find one vulnerability to breach their defenses. This inherent imbalance presents a significant challenge to the cybersecurity community, where constant vigilance is necessary.

In an era dominated by Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD), where new software and configurations are deployed rapidly, security teams relentlessly pursue these changes, ensuring they don't introduce vulnerabilities into their systems.

Traditional cybersecurity methods, such as periodic vulnerability scanning, have been employed since the early 1990s. Even when conducted intensively, they fall short of ensuring 100% protection. For instance, considering a daily scan, there can be up to 23 hours of exposure time, during which adversaries only need a millisecond to exploit a vulnerability.

Compounding this challenge is the organizational structure and processes in place. The operation team introducing exposures as part of their deployment efforts are often the same ones tasked with remediating them. This can lead to delays in response. For example, the configuration has already been used if the security team reports an issue after a day. Remedying it risks the environment's resiliency and may impact business operations. As a result, the operations team may prioritize other tasks, leaving the exposure unresolved for days or even weeks.

The solution lies in fostering collaboration between security and operations teams through real-time exposure detection.

Real-time exposure detection involves continuously assessing exposure without relying on periodic scans. Every change made to the environment is instantly evaluated to determine its level of exposure.

To effectively implement real-time exposure detection solutions, organizations should adopt these best practices:

  1. Align with Business Needs: Every business is unique, and so are its minimum tolerable exposure levels. Security teams should apply guardrails tailored to the business's specific requirements. Identifying critical assets, assessing risk in data flows, and addressing internal threats are vital components of this process.
  2. Foster Security Awareness in Operations: Operation teams should have visibility into exposure levels. This approach serves a dual purpose. First, operations teams can assess deployments before introducing security gaps, thus preventing exposures from occurring in the first place. Second, immediate exposure detection upon deployment allows for safe reversion, as no other teams rely on these configurations, enabling timely remediation.
  3. Embrace Remediation Automation: Security and operations teams must agree on irrefutable guardrails that trigger automated responses in case of specific occurrences. These rules' development and careful definition are vital for crafting effective remediation automation.

Real-time exposure detection is essential in eliminating the unfair advantage adversaries hold. It equips organizations to respond fast, collaborate effectively, and strengthen cloud environments, creating a safer digital landscape for all. In a world where every second counts, real-time exposure detection is the key to maintaining the upper hand in cybersecurity.

About Stream Security

Stream pioneers Cloud Twin™, providing real-time exposure and threat detection, investigation, and response for multi-cloud environments. It pinpoints threat origins and instantly clarifies the remediation impact.

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