JupiterOne, the cyber asset visibility and management company, has announced the release of its second annual State of Cyber Assets Report (SCAR). Cyber assets increased by 133 percent year-over-year, from an average of 165,000 in 2022 to 393,419 in 2023. Organizations also saw the number of security vulnerabilities, or unresolved findings, increase by 589 percent, indicating a snowball effect as the number of assets more than doubled. The number of security vulnerabilities did not grow in direct proportion to the number of assets which may be attributed to an actual increase in unresolved vulnerabilities and the adoption of new technologies for vulnerability identification.

Mid-sized organizations, defined as 50 to 499 employees, were the further along in building security visibility with the highest number of aggregated data sources. On average, large-sized organizations had 2,011 assets per employee, small organizations 681, and mid-sized organizations 489. Mid sized organizations had the lowest asset-to-employee ratio, and since fewer assets per employee can indicate a higher ratio of talent resources to manage the asset lifecycle, this could be due to greater sophistication in engineering practices and better habits for asset destruction, lifecycle management, or ephemeral engineering practices.

Over the past 12 months, there has been an incredible – and almost certainly unprecedented – growth in the security practitioners’ inventory of cyber assets, which has demanded entirely new levels of visibility, automation, and practice among resource-strapped security teams. The unprecedented growth in cyber assets and findings has multiple implications for the enterprise.

Unified Cyber Insight is Crucial

Security practitioners aren’t omniscient. Visibility into cross-system relationships is only as good as the integration and correlation across data sets. The average security team correlates 8.67 security data sources for unified cyber insight. Unified cyber insights matter a lot if anyone wants to effectively defend the cloud-native attack surface. However, teams may struggle to make a case for data access to systems owned or administered by other teams.

Cyber Assets are Business Assets

Everyone knows that modern businesses cannot function, let alone succeed, without their cyber assets in both cloud and physical environments. Still, security teams have long struggled to convince business leaders how much cyber assets are worth. Understanding that the average asset is worth $17,711 in 2023 may not help security teams get enough budget. However, it is a start toward quantifying the value of cyber assets.

The Modern Attack Surface is Distributed

Security practitioners are responsible for an average of 334 unique Cloud Service Provider (CSP) accounts in 2023 across all organizational sizes, or an average of 225 and 559 unique accounts at large and mid-sized organizations,
respectively. Distributed cloud architecture methods create resiliency in the era of destructive ransomware attacks. But, the hyper-growth in distributed cloud architecture has introduced an unprecedented era of complexity for cybersecurity teams, who must contend with more assets, less standardization across CSPs, and the necessity of unified cyber insight.

The latest JupiterOne research helps CEOs, CISOs, and security leaders understand the impact of the expanding attack surface on security complexity, and business, and uncovers the shocking growth in the average cybersecurity teams’ responsibilities.

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