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It’s time to change the playbook: Prepare for uncorrelated surprises

Tally Netzer
October 11th, 2022
uncorrelated surprises

Investors came into 2022 feeling good, with a three-year average annual return for the S&P 500 of 24%. In March, things changed. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates, signaling it was time to switch to bonds. The playbook said bonds were the much safer play.

Then Russia invaded Ukraine. Commodity prices, especially energy and food, spiked. Supply chains broke. The E.U. faced a winter without enough energy to heat homes or power businesses. The British Pound collapsed like an emerging market currency. The Nordstream undersea gas pipelines were sabotaged…

Investors were thwarted by a series of unforeseen, uncorrelated events. 

Cybersecurity pros know the feeling. Remember in 2013 when Target was hacked via a third-party with access to their systems. Hackers went after the less secure HVAC company that serviced Target stores to gain access to key Target business systems. The data breach ultimately cost Target between $162M and $300M. 

The cyber playbook at the time was about protecting critical assets from attacks. The focus was on data centers, firewalls, and segmentation for critical assets. This defensive posture was supported by improving detection and response to the most critical threats as quickly as possible. Nowhere in the playbook did it talk about obscure third-party HVAC vendors. 

Since then, third-party attacks have significantly increased in prominence. GE, Boeing, Tesla, Volkswagen, Expedia, Marriott, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. All compromised via third-party attacks in the past couple of years. Clearly, the playbook needs to change. 

It is past time to recognize that the external attack surface is a significant source of risk to businesses. This is one reason why Gartner identified External Attack Surface Management as a Top Trend for 2022. 

The explosion of cloud infrastructure and services, consumerization of IT, and new open and distributed system architectures are creating an ever changing, unknown and uncontrolled external attack surface. As enterprises become increasingly internet exposed, their invisible external attack surface poses an unparalleled challenge for security teams.

IONIX is on a mission to transform the way organizations see, manage, and secure their external attack surface. 

  • First, we help security teams understand their attack surface exposure. 
  • Then, we map and graph the attack surface connections. External connections extend protection beyond the assets under your control to cover the connected digital supply chain. This is a critical capability that you will not find in competing EASM solutions
  • We then provide comprehensive assessment and prioritization, along with another unique capability, Active Protection. This automates the mitigation of high-risk threats that enterprises cannot otherwise address.

It has been nine years since the Target breach, and third-party attacks are more common than ever, impacting some of the biggest, most well defended organizations in the world. It’s time for a new playbook that recognizes how important External Attack Surface Management is to reducing enterprise risk. Hopefully, it won’t take investors nine years to develop their new playbook.

Want to learn more about the IONIX platform? Book a demo to learn how we can help your business today.


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