As organizations continue to increase in size, their IT assets will continue to grow too. Understanding how to identify your IT assets in real-time with cybersecurity asset management is essential to a company’s cybersecurity stack as it can help save your organization from cybersecurity attacks on vulnerable assets.
We’ve all found items while cleaning up our closets, drawers, basements, attics, etc. and think to ourselves “wow I didn’t know I had that!” The same is true in your IT environment. The difference is not knowing the entirety of what you have in your IT environment can be very dangerous. In the world of cybersecurity, you simply cannot secure something if you don’t know it exists. Your organization is only as strong as your weakest link. That is why cybersecurity asset management is a critical component for your company.
Cybersecurity asset management is the process of identifying all IT assets in your organization’s (usually a business) IT environment such as hardware, software, SaaS based products, etc., and identifying any security gaps that each asset may have. These security gaps could be vulnerable computers that have outdated software, unknown or forgotten assets, assets that have reached end-of-life, etc.
This asset management process continuously discovers, remediates, and aims to improve cybersecurity posture for internal and external IT assets before the attackers can get to them.
Cybersecurity asset management is the process of identifying and managing your IT assets – from hardware to software, and even your employees. It’s a critical component of good security management because it allows you to prioritize where you need to spend time and money on your cybersecurity efforts, as well as ensuring that your organization’s assets are secure, compliant, and working as they should.
Now that we have talked about what cybersecurity asset management is and the benefits that it provides organizations, let’s talk about the types of cybersecurity Asset Management.
This is the process of identifying all IT assets, including hardware and software, in your network. This process will help maintain an accurate inventory of assets; what each device does, how it connects to other devices, who owns it and how it's being used.
This is the process of collecting information about every device on your network. Asset inventories are important because they help you know what devices are vulnerable or infected with malware or viruses.
How will your organization be using asset information and know if the details are sufficient for you to use? Knowing certain details such as versions for all software that is installed on your machines will help to identify a wider range of vulnerabilities that are present rather than just knowing the operating system.
A CMDB is a database that stores information about every device on your network, including serial numbers, IP addresses, operating systems, etc., ensuring that asset information can be used productively. It also keeps track of updates that have been applied to those devices so that you can easily determine whether any vulnerabilities exist in them or not.
We know that passwords are considered classified information and wouldn’t share that with anyone willingly. When collecting data on your assets, consider sensitivity and confidentiality. Apply appropriate protections and access restrictions, while ensuring relevant use cases are supported. For example, all users should be able to look up the assets they are responsible for, but arbitrary bulk queries should be prevented. With appropriate restrictions in place, this will help mitigate potential attackers to find useful information.
In short, everyone, including non-IT personnel, should participate in overseeing cybersecurity asset management. As stated before, your organization is only as strong as its weakest link. For this reason, a big part of Cybersecurity Asset Management involves making sure that all employees understand their role in protecting company data from theft or misuse by unauthorized users.
When it comes to cybersecurity, it's not just about protecting your data. You also need to protect the assets that make up your IT infrastructure. These assets can include everything from workstations and laptops to firewalls and routers.
As a business owner or manager, you have a responsibility to know what assets are in your organization, where they are located and how they are being used across the company. This is especially important as we move into an era of increased IoT devices and data breaches that often involve stealing personal information. Those who manage this process should understand how their company's assets are being used so they can make better decisions about cyber risk management strategies and investments in security technologies or training programs for employees.
The first step in your Cybersecurity Asset Management programs identifying all of your IT assets. That's the easy part. The harder part is keeping track of them as they move from one location to another, and from one business group to another, and from one owner to another.
But you can't stop there. You need to keep tabs on these assets at all times — not just when they're being moved around or sold off, but also during their everyday operations and use by employees. This requires real-time tracking that enables you to identify any potential problems before they become a major headache for your organization.