What is CTEM?

Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM) is a dynamic approach to cybersecurity that emphasizes real-time identification, assessment, and mitigation of threats. With CTEM, organizations can actively manage their security posture by keeping a constant watch on their networks, endpoints, and devices for potential threats and vulnerabilities.

CTEM, with its threat-focused approach, takes a step further than traditional vulnerability management programs by providing a comprehensive view of an organization’s security risks. It enables organizations to prioritize and tackle threats based on their potential impact, ensuring effective resource allocation and reducing the likelihood of a successful cyberattack.

The following sections delve into the advantages of implementing a CTEM strategy, the five stages involved in its execution, the comparison between CTEM and conventional vulnerability management programs, and the application of CTEM across various industries and sizes of businesses.


Adopting a Threat-Centric Approach with CTEM

Recognizing the significance of a threat-centric approach in cybersecurity is essential for organizations in the current ever-changing threat landscape. Traditional security measures like perimeter defenses and signature-based detection are no longer enough to protect against advanced cyber threats. A threat-centric approach emphasizes proactive identification and mitigation of threats rather than relying purely on reactive measures.

When organizations adopt a threat-centric mindset, they are better equipped to anticipate, detect, and effectively respond to cyber threats. This approach involves constant monitoring of the network environment, analyzing potential threats, and taking proactive steps to prevent and mitigate attacks.

Continuous Threat and Event Management is one solution that enables organizations to adopt a threat-centric approach. CTEM merges advanced technologies such as real-time monitoring, machine learning, and behavioral analytics to offer comprehensive visibility into the network. It assists organizations in identifying and prioritizing potential threats, enabling them to take immediate action to safeguard their critical assets.


The Advantages of Implementing a CTEM Strategy in an Organization

Introducing a comprehensive Cybersecurity Threat and Event Management strategy in your organization can provide numerous benefits that contribute to protecting your network and sensitive data. Let’s examine some of the key advantages:

  • Improved Visibility and Understanding of Potential Threats: A CTEM strategy offers organizations improved visibility into potential threats that may target their network infrastructure. By implementing advanced monitoring and detection mechanisms, such as real-time threat intelligence and behavior analytics, you can gain a better understanding of the threats within your environment. This increased visibility allows you to proactively identify and mitigate potential risks before they can cause significant damage.
  • Streamlined Vulnerability Management Processes: Efficient vulnerability management is crucial for maintaining a secure network. A CTEM strategy enables organizations to streamline their vulnerability management processes by automating vulnerability scanning, patch management, and compliance assessments. This automation saves valuable time and resources, allowing your team to concentrate on remediation efforts rather than laborious manual tasks. With a well-executed CTEM strategy, you can effectively prioritize vulnerabilities based on their criticality and promptly remediate them.
  • Enhanced Incident Response and Remediation: In the event of a security incident, a CTEM strategy plays a crucial role in enhancing incident response and remediation capabilities. By leveraging real-time monitoring and correlation of security events, your organization can quickly detect and respond to incidents. Automated incident response workflows and playbooks enable faster containment and remediation, minimizing the potential impact of an attack. With a well-coordinated incident response process in place, you can effectively mitigate the damage caused by security breaches.

Implementing a robust CTEM strategy not only strengthens your organization’s security posture but also helps you stay ahead of evolving cyber threats. By leveraging advanced technologies and efficient processes, you can protect your network infrastructure, sensitive data, and maintain the trust of your customers and stakeholders.


The Five-Stage CTEM Strategy

A CTEM strategy is crucial for organizations to effectively identify and mitigate potential threats and vulnerabilities. This strategy consists of five key stages that help organizations safeguard their systems, data, and network infrastructure. Let’s explore each stage in detail:

  • Stage 1: Scoping – Defining the scope of the CTEM strategy
    During this stage, organizations define the objectives, goals, and boundaries of their CTEM strategy. They identify the assets, systems, and networks that need protection and establish the scope of the strategy accordingly. This stage lays the groundwork for an effective CTEM strategy.
  • Stage 2: Discovery – Identifying potential threats and exposures
    In this stage, organizations conduct thorough assessments to identify potential threats and exposures. They evaluate their systems, networks, and infrastructure to uncover vulnerabilities and weaknesses. This stage involves using advanced tools and techniques to detect and analyze potential risks.
  • Stage 3: Prioritization – Assessing risks and impact
    Once potential threats and exposures are identified, organizations prioritize them based on their severity and potential impact. They assess the risks associated with each threat and determine the level of impact it may have on their operations. This stage helps organizations effectively allocate resources and focus on mitigating high-priority risks.
  • Stage 4: Validation – Verifying vulnerabilities and exposures
    During this stage, organizations validate and verify the vulnerabilities and exposures identified in the previous stages. They conduct comprehensive tests and assessments to confirm the presence of these vulnerabilities. This stage ensures accuracy in identifying and addressing potential risks.
  • Stage 5: Mobilization – Taking action to mitigate threats
    The final stage of a CTEM strategy involves taking action to mitigate the identified threats and vulnerabilities. Organizations implement appropriate security measures, such as patching vulnerabilities, strengthening network defenses, and enhancing incident response capabilities. This stage aims to minimize the impact of potential threats and ensure the overall security of the organization.

By following these five stages of a CTEM strategy, organizations can establish a robust framework for managing cyber threats and exposures. It enables them to proactively identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks, thereby safeguarding their critical assets and ensuring the continuity of their operations.


CTEM vs Traditional Vulnerability Management Strategies

Understanding the limitations of traditional vulnerability management

Traditional vulnerability management strategies have long been used to identify and patch vulnerabilities in an organization’s network. However, these strategies often fall short in addressing the ever-evolving threat landscape. They rely on periodic scans and assessments, leaving gaps in security coverage between scans. Additionally, traditional vulnerability management strategies lack the ability to provide real-time visibility into device vulnerabilities, making it difficult to prioritize and remediate risks effectively.

Exploring how CTEM offers a proactive and continuous approach

Continuous Threat and Exposure Management offers a proactive and continuous approach to vulnerability management. By continuously monitoring and assessing the security posture of all connected devices, CTEM provides real-time visibility into vulnerabilities and exposures. This proactive approach allows organizations to identify risks as they arise, enabling faster response times and minimizing potential damage.

Benefits of transitioning from traditional vulnerability management to CTEM

Moving from traditional vulnerability management to CTEM brings numerous benefits. With CTEM, organizations can stay ahead of emerging threats and vulnerabilities, reducing the likelihood of successful cyberattacks. The continuous monitoring aspect ensures that vulnerabilities are identified and addressed promptly, reducing the window of opportunity for attackers. Additionally, CTEM provides a holistic view of the security posture, allowing organizations to prioritize remediation efforts based on risk severity and criticality.


How Forescout Helps with Continuous Threat Exposure Management

Forescout TDR (Threat Detection & Response) offers a comprehensive solution for continuous threat exposure management by combining essential SOC (Security Operations Center) technologies and functions into a unified, cloud-native console. Here’s how Forescout helps in this regard:

  • Vendor and EDR Agnostic Data Ingestion: Supports existing investments and can ingest data from any managed and unmanaged device (IT, OT/ICS, IoT, IoMT), ensuring comprehensive threat detection.
  • 450x Better Detections: An advanced data pipeline enforces a common information model (CIM) for data normalization and auto-enrichment. A 2-stage threat detection engine reduces noise and improves detection fidelity.
  • Full Spectrum Response: Provides powerful investigation tools, native integrations with case management solutions, and the ability to automate responses across all managed and unmanaged devices.
  • Up Front Risk Reduction: Integration with other Forescout solutions reduces the attack surface and continuously monitors all connected assets with dynamic access policies.
  • Simple, Predictable, and Accessible Pricing: No penalties for sending more logs, and pricing is based on the total number of endpoints in your organization. Pricing includes 7+ day log storage, with longer-term options available.

Schedule your demo to see how Forescout TDR automatically and intelligently correlates threat signals from across the entire enterprise, to quickly generate high-fidelity, high confidence detections for human investigation.

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