Device Recognition and CAASM: Defending the Attack Surface


The technology estate in nearly every business has expanded rapidly over the past few years, to accommodate the increasingly hybrid workplace, new digital technologies and the need for greater mobility.  As a result, there are more ways than ever for cybercriminals to attack an organization. In fact, Trend Micro found that 43% of global organizations think the digital attack surface – all points of entry that can serve as attack vectors for cybercriminals – is “spiraling out of control.”

With the attack surface spreading, the vast majority of organizations are at high risk of a breach, Yet despite the impending threat, only 45% have a strategy for assessing their exposure to risk. This means they’re vulnerable to financial losses, data theft or corruption, and the ensuing reputational damage.

To combat this trend, Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management (CAASM) is being broadly adopted. CAASM enables businesses to detect and identify any and all connected assets that could be vulnerable to an attack because of outdated or unpatched software, encryption issues, misconfigurations or stolen credentials. When the attack surface is managed effectively, IT security teams can spot issues, isolate or disable impacted systems, and work to eliminate entry points and attack vectors that could be used to compromise an organization’s cybersecurity.

What Is CAASM?

Rather than a specific tool or solution, CAASM represents an array of technologies and processes IT security teams can employ to minimize and protect the attack surface. Doing CAASM the right way requires access to data – you need to know what devices and software you have before you can protect it. 

A good analogy is a home security system: Before you can protect your home by installing alarms, you need to know how many doors and windows you have, and where they’re located. You may also need to understand the material the doors are made of and their position in the home, in order to install the proper alarm hardware. 

The same goes for your IT asset inventory: to protect it, you need to understand what devices you have, where they’re located, what vulnerabilities exist, and what patches or upgrades are necessary. While it’s easy to walk around and make an inventory of your windows and doors before installing an alarm system, getting all the information you need to protect the attack surface across the sprawling IT estate is a bit more complicated.

Getting the Right Data for Effective CAASM

Most organizations struggle to discover and identify all of the systems and software they have today across their growing and distributed technology estates, which may now comprise not only IT, but also operational technology (OT), IoT devices and employees’ personal devices – smartphones, smartwatches, laptops and more. The technology estate encompasses a vast and rapidly growing diversity of hardware and software that leverage the corporate network. 

The reality is, it’s impossible to protect a device or piece of software you don’t know about. Even if you know about the device, you may not have the information you need to enforce proper security protocols, leaving your organization exposed to a potential attack. Of course there are many tools out there focused on detecting and mitigating threats – from your CMDB to your SIEM and SOAR solutions. But the vast majority of organizations still lack complete and accurate data about their technology assets, which impedes their ability to protect the attack surface. That’s where Lansweeeper comes in.

Enrich Your CAASM Solutions with Lansweeper Data

Lasnweeper provides an essential building block for an effective CAASM strategy: technology asset data. Our advanced device recognition capabilities detect and identify any and all devices connected to the network, and report back granular details about every one. 

Lansweeper leverages an agentless deep scanning engine and credential-free device recognition (CDR) technology to automatically and continuously discover and recognize all IT assets across your infrastructure, creating a comprehensive inventory with detailed IT asset data. There’s no need to install any agent on the devices, because Lansweeper works without agents. What’s more, it doesn’t need credentials. The first scan yields a trove of detailed data about every connected device – even Shadow IT and rogue devices – providing a comprehensive picture of the asset attack surface in its entirety. 

Lansweeper detects and reports on:

  • All connected hardware assets including workstations, servers, network devices, IoT devices, mobile devices, cloud assets and more. 
  • Devices that aren’t properly encrypted
  • Rogue devices that only touch your network briefly or operate behind the firewall. 
  • All software with version number, publisher and install date.
  • Unauthorized software installs.

Cybersecurity vendors who integrate Lansweeper Device Recognition technology with their solutions can offer customers the benefit of complete and accurate, up-to-the-minute data about all connected devices and systems, at all times, without lifting a finger. They can use this information to analyze the attack surface, pinpoint any vulnerabilities or security gaps, and take immediate action. As a vendor, you benefit from offering your customers an indispensable value add.

Start Managing the Attack Surface Today

Lansweeper Embedded Technologies makes it easy to embed Lansweeper into your cybersecurity products to help customers implement a more effective CAASM solution via our cloud API, multi-platform SDK or off-line database. Find out more, and get started today.