Browse Definitions :
Definition

network attack surface

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

The network attack surface is the totality of all vulnerabilities in connected hardware and software that are accessible to unauthenticated users.

Every point of network interaction is a part of the network attack surface. Hackers, industrial spies and malware such as worms and advanced persistent threats (APTs) target these points for potential entry to a network they wish to disrupt or capture data from.

A network’s attack surface is most often exploited through remote access and intrusion but Wi-Fi and even local area networks (LANs) must also be considered in a complete view of the attack surface.  Technologies that rely on tunneling such as virtual private networks (VPNs), peer-to-peer (P2P) and Teredo constitute a threat to networks, as they circumvent intrusion prevention and other security measures.

The network attack surface can be reduced by closing unnecessary ports and limiting resources available to untrusted users and the Internet in general with techniques like MAC address filtering. Any forms of tunneling should be limited to those that are necessary, and access should be stringently controlled. Limiting some network attack vectors can also limit exposure of existing software vulnerabilities by blocking access to them.

 A complete attack surface analysis is crucial to proper set up of breach detection systems (BDS), firewall, intrusion prevention systems, data policy and other security measures. Many attack approaches exploit a combination of attack surface types to gain access to desired resources.

See also: software attack surface, physical attack surface, social engineering attack surface

This was last updated in January 2015

Continue Reading About network attack surface

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • quantum key distribution (QKD)

    Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication method for exchanging encryption keys only known between shared parties.

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume work ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

SearchStorage

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics, also known as NVMe-oF and non-volatile memory express over fabrics, is a protocol specification designed to ...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

Close