Attack Surfaces and Identity Threat Detection Continues to Evolve

Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Please sign in to see details of an important advisory in our Customer Advisories area.
Community Team Member



The November Spark User Summit is happening tomorrow, Thursday, November 30, 2023 - don't delay, register today!


Join us at our November Spark User Summit - The evolving aspects of attack surfaces and identity threat detection


In these sessions, you'll first learn about how the attack surfaces are changing and what companies need to do to adapt as they face more system separation, rouge IT and cloud adoption. Then learn about identity-based threats, what the risk is to your company and how Cortex can help you to mitigate these threats.




The landscape of cybersecurity, attack surfaces, and identity threat detection has continued to evolve over the past couple of years.  Let's review some of these aspects and how Palo Alto Networks is positioned to help protect against these threats.


Evolving Aspects of Attack Surfaces:


  • Digital Transformation and Cloud Adoption - As organizations undergo digital transformation, they increasingly migrate their infrastructure and services to the cloud. This transition expands the attack surface as there are more entry points and potential vulnerabilities in cloud environments. Securing cloud services and data becomes crucial.

  • Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT) - The proliferation of IoT devices and the integration of operational technology into networked environments create new attack vectors. IoT devices are often resource-constrained and may have security vulnerabilities, making them attractive targets for attackers looking to compromise networks.

  • Remote Work and Mobile Devices - The rise of remote work has expanded the attack surface beyond traditional corporate networks. Employees accessing corporate resources from various locations and using a variety of devices increase the complexity of security. Mobile devices, if not properly secured, can become gateways for attacks.

  • Supply Chain Attacks - Attackers increasingly target the supply chain to compromise systems indirectly. This can involve exploiting vulnerabilities in third-party software, compromising hardware during manufacturing, or infiltrating service providers to gain access to multiple organizations.

  • Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) and Nation-State Attacks - APTs, often orchestrated by nation-states, are becoming more sophisticated. These attacks are characterized by prolonged, targeted efforts to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. The goal may be espionage, intellectual property theft, or disruption of critical infrastructure.


Identity Threat Detection:


  • Credential Stuffing and Password Spraying - Attackers frequently use credential stuffing attacks, leveraging previously breached usernames and passwords to gain unauthorized access to accounts. Password spraying involves trying a few commonly used passwords against many accounts to avoid detection. (phishing, password spraying, and brute force attacks).

  • Phishing and Social Engineering - Phishing attacks remain a prevalent method for compromising user identities. Social engineering tactics trick individuals into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links, leading to credential theft.

  • Insider Threats - Insider threats, whether malicious or unintentional, pose a significant risk. Employees or contractors with access to sensitive data may abuse their privileges, leading to data breaches. Insider threats can be challenging to detect as the actors may already have legitimate access.

  • Biometric Spoofing - As biometric authentication becomes more prevalent, attackers may attempt to spoof or manipulate biometric systems. This involves using fake fingerprints, facial images, or other biometric data to gain unauthorized access.

  • Zero-Day Exploits and Fileless Attacks - Zero-day exploits target vulnerabilities that are unknown to the vendor, making them challenging to defend against. Fileless attacks operate in memory, leaving little to no footprint on the system's hard drive, making them harder to detect using traditional signature-based methods.


Palo Alto Networks Solutions:


  • User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) - Palo Alto Networks incorporates UEBA (What is UEBA) to analyze patterns of user behavior. This helps in identifying anomalies that may indicate a compromised identity, such as unusual login times or access locations.

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) - MFA is a fundamental security measure to mitigate the risk of unauthorized access even if credentials are compromised. Palo Alto Networks solutions often integrate with MFA mechanisms to enhance identity protection.

  • Threat Intelligence Integration - Palo Alto Networks products leverage threat intelligence feeds to stay updated on the latest threats and attack vectors. This integration enhances their ability to detect and prevent attacks across the evolving attack surface.

  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) - Palo Alto Networks' Cortex XDR, an EDR solution, provides real-time visibility into endpoint activity. It helps detect and respond to advanced threats that may target user identities or exploit vulnerabilities in endpoints.

  • Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) - For the evolving cloud attack surface, Palo Alto Networks offers solutions like Prisma Cloud, which provides CSPM capabilities. This includes continuous monitoring, compliance checks, and threat detection for cloud environments.


It's crucial for organizations to adopt a holistic cybersecurity strategy that considers the dynamic nature of the threat landscape. Palo Alto Networks continues to evolve its solutions to address emerging challenges and provide robust protection against evolving attack surfaces and identity threats. Regular updates, employee training, and proactive monitoring are essential components of a comprehensive cybersecurity posture.


Thanks for taking time to read this blog.

Don't forget to hit that Like (thumbs up) button and don't forget to subscribe to the LIVEcommunity Blog.


Stay Secure,
Kiwi out!

Register or Sign-in
Top Liked Authors