In IT (information technology), asset management is the process of inventorying every asset that makes up the technology estate. Every piece of hardware and software, every service and application in use has to be tracked from the moment it is acquired until it is retired. Asset management is vital to keeping track of things like licenses, software updates, maintenance, depreciation, and other administrative aspects of enterprise technology ownership.
Asset management plays an essential, if unheralded role in cybersecurity. When you have an accurate and real-time accounting of all the assets that make up your IT environment, you can minimize the chances of an adversary finding a weak spot, or of an error that puts your systems and data at risk of a breach. That’s because cybersecurity asset management also involves things like patch management, access control, and assignment of user privileges.
The Challenges of Unmanaged and Hyperconnected Devices
One area that is difficult for traditional approaches to cybersecurity asset management is unmanaged and hyperconnected devices like IoT (internet of things). Many devices that are within the realm of IoT and that are connected to the enterprise are not traditional IT gear. This can range from devices that cannot be actively scanned to devices that slip through the cracks of NAC systems. (network access controller). Traditionally, whether the equipment is added with the knowledge of IT management, or whether it connects outside of the view of IT, it has to be monitored and tracked manually—and that is an impossible task given the number of devices in use today. And the problem is only going to get worse given predictions of increased deployment use. Juniper Research estimates IoT deployments will go from 36 billion devices today, to more than 83 billion by 2024.
When devices are undiscovered and unmanaged, they represent a potential point of entry for threat actors. And because the number of devices deployed in today’s sophisticated enterprises can reach five- and six-figures, organizations can’t afford to overlook them as a part of an IT security and management program. That is why a connected device security platform that foundationally performs cybersecurity asset inventory and management is an essential tool for the modern enterprise.
Three Keys to Success
To be effective at the task of cybersecurity asset management, organizations require a platform that is engineered for massive environments and is able to synthesize a significant amount of device data via machine learning and automation. That is because accurate device classification and behavioral baselining of device behavior inherently is made for machine learning.
The keys to successful cybersecurity asset management are:
- Complete device discovery to ensure total visibility and accountability into your entire managed and unmanaged device inventory;
- Real-time device monitoring and profiling to ensure you know the status of every connected asset, including configuration, communications patterns, and expected, unusual behavior, and more; and,
- Automated policy generation and enforcement to support the protection of devices that are at risk of compromise, or that cannot be managed and secured by legacy or manual processes.
These are baseline capabilities that can close the security gaps that exist in enterprises that are struggling to manage their expanding connected device inventories. Many devices were never meant to be accessible to the public internet, but are now connected to online supply chain networks; many devices were made by companies that no longer exist, and are now unsupported; many devices operate on obsolete software and operating systems and are vulnerable to well-know exploits; many medical devices are prohibited from needed updates because of FDA mandates.
Discover ALL Your Devices with Ordr
Ordr discovers all managed and unmanaged devices connected to your network, monitors and profiles device use and behavior, and assesses security risks in real time, and automatically generates and enforces security and management policies, ensuring complete coverage across your entire inventory.
If you’re struggling with cybersecurity asset management, Ordr can help. For quick visibility and assessment of your connected devices, request a demo: https://ordr.net/request-a-demo/
Danelle Au has more than 20 years of experience bringing new technologies to market. Prior to Ordr, she was CMO at Blue Hexagon, a deep learning for malware protection company, and CMO at SafeBreach where she helped build the marketing organization and and define the Breach and Attack Simulation category. Previously, she led strategy and marketing at Adallom, a cloud security company acquired by Microsoft. She was also Director, Security Solutions at Palo Alto Networks, driving growth in critical IT initiatives like virtualization, network segmentation and mobility. Danelle was co-founder of a high-speed networking chipset startup, co-author of an IP Communications Book and holds 2 U.S. Patents. She has an MSEE from UC Berkeley
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