Skip to main content
Microsoft Security
placeholder text for image

The global attack surface may be bigger than most think

April 19, 2022

The global attack surface grows with the internet

And it is growing every day. In 2020, the amount of data on the internet hit 40 zettabytes, or 40 trillion gigabytes.1 RiskIQ found that every minute, 117,298 hosts and 613 domains2 add to the many interwoven threads making up the global attack surface’s intricate fabric. Each of these contains a set of elements, such as its underlying operating systems, frameworks, third-party applications, plugins, and tracking code. With each of these rapidly proliferating sites containing these nuts and bolts, the scope of the global attack surface increases exponentially.

Both legitimate organizations and threat actors contribute to this growth, which means cyber threats increase at scale with the rest of the internet. Sophisticated advanced persistent threats (APTs) and petty cybercriminals alike threaten businesses’ safety, targeting their data, brand, intellectual property, systems, and people.

In the first quarter of 2021, detected 611,877 unique phishing sites,3 with 32 domain-infringement events and 375 new total threats emerging per minute.2 These threats target organizations’ employees and customers with rogue assets, looking to fool them into clicking malicious links and phishing for sensitive data, all of which can erode brand confidence and consumer trust.





Download PDF

left arrow

Five Elements Organizations Should Monitor

Sometimes, threat actors know more about an organization’s attack surface than their SOC does

right arrow