Best Practices for Selecting the Right CAASM Tool

a person standing in front of two arrows pointing in different directions representing the choice between CAASM tools.

Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management (CAASM) has emerged as a foundational technology to help security teams address their exposure management challenges. As the organization’s attack surface continuously expands, a CAASM solution plays a pivotal role in shaping an organization’s cybersecurity resilience and its ability to proactively identify and close security coverage gaps.

In this blog, we uncover the critical factors behind choosing the right CAASM tool and navigate through obstacles and challenges that organizations might face to ensure that the path to an improved security posture is one of informed decisions and strategic choices.

5 Things to Look for in a CAASM Solution

In an era of increasingly advanced cyber threats, selecting the right CAASM tool can make all the difference in building a robust, resilient cybersecurity posture.

The obstacles defined in the Gartner® 2023 Hype Cycle for Security Operations provide crucial insights into the potential pitfalls that organizations might encounter during their CAASM journey. Let’s explore some of these, and how organizations can use them a basis for selecting the right CAASM solution for their organization.

Obstacle: Not all vendors have capabilities to identify and integrate with every required system for visibility and vulnerability information.

  • Ensure the tool seamlessly integrates with your existing infrastructure.

Managing multiple disjointed security tools is a logistical nightmare. CAASM solutions consolidate asset data from the many disparate tools and sources organizations leverage today, increasing overall operational efficiency. However, not all solutions have the flexibility to identify and integrate with every required system and/or environment.

High-quality CAASM solutions offer a unified view of your entire environment, no matter how vast or complex, across public and private cloud, and on-premises networks. While modern applications typically have standardized APIs to integrate with, a CAASM solution should also be able to ingest data via other methods (spreadsheets, email, etc.) to support legacy or custom solutions.

Obstacle: Resistance to “yet another” tool.

  • Select a tool that provides an unparalleled level of insight to foster a proactive security culture.

The right CAASM tool empowers your organization to take a proactive stance against cyber threats. It doesn’t just help to map vulnerabilities to assets, but also assists in assessing their criticality and potential impact. This knowledge allows teams to allocate resources where they are most needed and remediate issues before they can be exploited. When it comes to assessing vendor capabilities, determine whether the tool simply serves as a dashboard full of contextless data, or equips teams with the actionable insight they need to prioritize vulnerabilities and stay ahead of the adversary.

Obstacle: Vendor response actions to prioritized issues may be limited to opening tickets or invoking a script.

  • Opt for solutions that provide extensive automation capabilities.

Automation is key in addressing prioritized issues efficiently, reducing manual workload, and mitigating risks. Many vendors offer basic functionalities such as triggering a vulnerability scan or notifying an asset owner of an identified vulnerability. Advanced CAASM solutions, on the other hand, offer an array of fully-customizable automation actions—from generating a ticket in ServiceNow, to automatically deploying an endpoint agent on a newly discovered asset.

Obstacles: The scalability of a single instance may be limited for extremely large environments, in terms of both data collection and usability. Also, tools that can be integrated with a CAASM product either do not exist (due, for example, to the lack of an API) or may be prevented from integrating by the teams that own them.

  • Ensure scalability for extremely large or dynamic environments.

Scalability enables effective management of complex infrastructures, adapting to evolving security needs. In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, the right CAASM tool is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Whether there are plans to expand to the cloud or venture into new technological territories, a well-chosen solution should grow alongside the organization. Consider whether vendors support the ongoing development of APIs or integration options where they do not already exist.

Obstacle: Products licensed per asset consumed become cost-prohibitive for very large organizations.

  •  Create a compelling business case that highlights the potential ROI and justification for investing in CAASM.

CAASM plays a key role in optimizing asset management, making it cost-effective even for large organizations by reducing unnecessary spending on unmonitored assets. Quantify the time and resources currently spent on manual reporting processes. Estimate the time it takes to create reports for the entire asset inventory. This should include the time spent on data collection, data analysis, report creation, and distribution.

With the identified time savings, estimate the return on investment (ROI) that can be achieved by implementing a CAASM solution. Consider both the direct cost savings related to reduced manual labor and the indirect benefits of faster decision-making and improving overall security posture.

As organizations venture into the digital frontier, their CAASM solution becomes not just a guardian but a strategic ally. It provides them with the ability to take a proactive stance against cyber threats, offering actionable insights, streamlining operations, and adapting to the ever-evolving landscape. By carefully considering these best practices, organizations can fortify their cybersecurity posture and navigate the digital realm with confidence, staying ahead of the adversary and preserving the integrity of their digital infrastructure. In the end, the right CAASM solution is not just a choice; it’s imperative.

The good news is, Noetic’s solution checks all these boxes (and many more). Explore each capability in more detail: