A cybersecurity attack surface is the sum of all the ways that an attacker can potentially gain access to a company’s systems and data. To identify their cybersecurity attack surface, small businesses should assess all of the ways that their systems, devices, and data are connected to the internet and potentially vulnerable to attack. This includes all devices, networks, software, and websites that the business uses, as well as external factors such as vendor relationships and employee behaviour.
To identify their attack surface, small businesses can start by making a list of all their devices, networks, and software, and assessing their vulnerabilities. They can also consider potential risks such as employee mistakes or malicious activity, vendor vulnerabilities, and external threats such as phishing attacks. By identifying their attack surface, small businesses can take steps to reduce their vulnerabilities and protect themselves from cyber threats. This may include implementing security measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and strong passwords, as well as educating employees on cybersecurity best practices.
Here is an example of a small UK business’s cybersecurity attack surface:
- Devices: The business uses laptops, desktop computers, and smartphones to access company data and connect to the internet.
- Networks: The business has a local area network (LAN) for its office and a virtual private network (VPN) for remote access.
- Software: The business uses a variety of software applications, including a customer relationship management (CRM) system, a point-of-sale (POS) system, and a human resources (HR) system.
- Websites: The business has a company website and an e-commerce platform for online sales.
- Vendor relationships: The business works with several vendors who have access to company data and systems.
- Employee behaviour: The business has a mix of remote and in-office employees, who may be at risk of falling victim to phishing attacks or other cyber threats.