In the digital world, everything you do online and every website you visit leaves a Mapping Digital Footprint print that can easily lead back to you. While it’s true that the internet makes the world go around, it’s also true that it makes tracking your online activity as easy as possible.
All a third party needs to track you is your digital print. Then, there’s another problem – digital prints are hard to erase and even harder to hide. Since this could pose a serious problem to your business organization, you must up your cybersecurity game.
Modern-day businesses must work around the clock to maintain customer appeal, and getting ahead of the latest cybersecurity solutions is vital to accomplishing this goal. Thankfully, you can rely on this comprehensive guide by JFrog to understand how mapping your digital footprint can help mitigate cybersecurity risks in 2023.
What is a digital footprint?
The easiest way to explain a digital footprint is to represent it as a map of all external-facing assets in your company. This map is what hackers see when viewing your corporate ecosystem, and they will use it to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity systems.
If your system has too many vulnerabilities, hackers might use them to target specific pain points in your information security software. Every security flaw can be used as an entry point, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you.
Your digital footprint can help you test your cybersecurity measures by assessing the resilience of your data security programs. The insights you gather from testing can point your IT security experts in the right direction toward identifying potential threats and mitigating them before they escalate beyond control.
Footprint mapping also analyzes the pathways and connections between the assets. This analysis is crucial to ensuring maximum protection against cyber threats, as hackers could breach sensitive resources by disrupting asset connections and hacking into sensitive resources.
For example, cybercriminals can easily breach your data security measures by launching supply chain attacks to compromise the weakest link in your ecosystem. Thankfully you can prevent such cyberattacks by mapping each asset and investing in top-grade malware and cybersecurity software protection.
The importance of digital footprint mapping
Although you can learn a lot about digital footprint mapping by watching YouTube videos, receiving a professional update on why it matters to your online presence is a much better option. Your brand presence on the internet is your weakness, as it serves as an attack vector to hackers.
Many companies wrongly believe adopting more technology makes them more secure. However, as you adopt new technologies, you expand your online presence, giving hackers more means to use against you.
Internal software solutions like firewalls and antivirus tools aren’t enough to protect you online because they don’t have the potential to extend the protection to your entire digital presence.
You can avoid many risks by harnessing the power of digital footprint mapping to gain deep insights into your entire digital presence with all potential targets beyond the firewall.
Here are some of the most common digital vulnerabilities beyond the firewall:
- Website subsidiaries
- Third-party assets
- Mobile apps
- IP addresses
- Social media profiles
- Vendor digital identity and social media accounts
- Broken links
- Vendors and their security software tools
- Web components and applications
- Industry-specific and corporate assets
- Customer-managing e-commerce assets
Remember, leaving just a tiny portion of your attack surface is enough for cybercriminals to spot a vulnerability and exploit it.
How digital footprint mapping works
The primary goal of mapping your digital footprint is to identify all potential vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity system. Once you have identified a possible entry point that hackers might target, you map all its endpoints and connections and link them to other identified asset networks.
You assign unique scores to each possible access point to start distributing mitigation measures and remediate as many assets as possible. With that in mind, the digital footprint mapping process involves three phases – discovery, mapping, and scoring.
In the discovery phase, you identify and locate all internet-exposed assets in your organization, such as:
- Cloud solutions
- Open Ports
- TLS certificates
- Data APIs
This phase can also help you determine if any leaked data pertains to your brand.
Once you have detected all vulnerabilities and assets, the next step is to map the connections between them to ascertain how much of your digital presence is currently available to third parties.
The insights you gather during this phase will help you estimate the risk profiles associated with your organization and identify critical vulnerabilities that need immediate attention.
After identifying all vulnerabilities, mapping all assets, and representing them graphically throughout your network, you’ll have clear insights into the entire cybersecurity landscape with all evident threats. More importantly, you’ll have all potential risks properly categorized by severity.
There are three risk categories:
- Acceptable risks
- Tolerable risks
- Unacceptable risks
This categorization will help you increase the efficiency of response efforts and address every risk category accordingly.
Digital footprint mapping helps business organizations identify potential vulnerabilities in their cybersecurity measures that hackers could use as access points to breach their security, penetrate the system, steal sensitive data, infect entire networks with malware and ransomware, etc.
Footprint mapping is critical to ensuring maximum digital safety and security for all your corporate assets, as you never know when cybercriminals could breach your measures and target sensitive resources. All they need is one weak point in your ecosystem. Once they’re in, it’s a nightmare to get them out without leaving permanent damage.