Think about how many things you touch each day. Whether it’s a door handle, a box at the grocery store or a simple handshake, your fingerprints are everywhere. Now think about your online activity. How many websites do you browse each day? What social platforms do you post on? Where does your personal information live and what networks have access to your data? Just like people, companies have vast digital footprints that contain personal and potentially vulnerable data.
A company’s digital footprint is like a fingerprint; it’s unique to them. A digital footprint encompasses all traceable digital activities, actions, communications, online reviews and downloads—but it doesn’t stop there. As companies migrate critical operations to the cloud and race to adopt new, advanced technologies, digital footprints have exploded. Security often suffers at the hand of advanced technologies, creating a larger digital attack surface.
We categorize an enterprise’s digital footprint in two categories: active and passive. An active digital footprint is comprised of intentionally released data via social media or directly from an organization’s website. Passive digital footprints, on the other hand, are the trail of information organizations leave unintentionally. This can include data collected by search engines, cloud and SaaS applications, or smartphone apps collecting geolocation data.
When it comes to the unknown, a large enterprise can have hundreds to thousands of unknown digital assets roaming free. Cybercriminals can use an organizations digital footprint to steal data and intellectual property, and they can do so quite easily, all while going unnoticed if you’re not properly monitoring your assets.
You can’t protect what you don’t know. That’s why monitoring your organization’s digital footprint is critical. Here are three steps you can take to safeguard your enterprise’s digital footprint:
- Discover your digital footprint: Identify and catalogue your internet-facing infrastructure. This includes anything and everything from domains, TLS certificates, open ports, cloud providers, or any accounts owned and used by the organizations and its employees. Just because something is discoverable doesn’t make it part of the attack surface, but what’s to say it won’t be used down the road to assist an attacker in exploiting another vulnerability?
- Inventory your assets: Continuously monitor your assets to detect compliance and risk issues associated with the assets and to meet compliance with industry regulations. Keeping stock of your digital assets is critical for implementing standard security processes like patch management and vulnerability testing.
- Monitor your footprint: Now that you have an accurate, detailed inventory, how do you make sense of it? Just as attackers spend time mapping tasks to understand the best method of attack, you must find the connections between exposed links and servers or databases. Stay ahead of attackers and implement mitigation techniques to ensure your external assets are protected.
Carolina Advanced Digital offers a breadth of security solutions to aid organizations seeking to map their digital footprint, including virtual CISO consulting, security awareness and phishing platforms, security reviews and assessments, SIEM and UEBA, log and asset management. Contact us today to schedule a free call with a team member to discuss your needs.