A lack of asset visibility has become a critical pain point as organizations increasingly move to the cloud, deploy Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, and operate distributed workforces. These trends have seen organizations inundated with not just mobile devices, but an explosive number of managed and unmanaged Internet- and network-connected devices making it increasingly difficult to achieve complete visibility of their resources.
As the proliferation of connected devices continues, it becomes imperative for organizations to monitor and manage them. They are increasingly inundated with a growing mass of devices connecting to their business-critical data and infrastructure. Nearly every business now relies on these devices for many processes through managed devices, such as desktops and laptops, smartphones, cloud services, virtual assets, and IoT devices.
As a result, organizations end up not knowing what or how many assets they have. They can address this issue by deploying an effective cybersecurity asset management process that helps them gain complete visibility. By identifying all their devices, organizations can continuously identify potential threats and remediate any issues.
To avoid the risk of losing sight of their assets, organizations can follow a series of best practices that increase visibility and security:
- Achieve complete asset discovery: The new breed of connected devices operates without being restricted to traditional perimeters. So, organizations need to identify and detect a wide range of assets, including those connected to their networks and those that operate wirelessly. Businesses also need to connect all their existing infrastructure, including application programming interfaces (APIs), network connections, and protocols, to all their data sources.
- Context is key to understanding gaps and risks: IT and security teams need to understand not only what devices are connected to their environments but also the context of each asset. That means understanding the configuration, posture, and user associated with each asset to identify the potential compliance gaps and risks.
- Take an agentless approach: Security professionals are being overloaded by agents to install across their assets. Instead, organizations need to take a passive, agentless approach to build a comprehensive inventory of all their assets in real-time. This gives the organization assurance that every asset is accounted for and provides context around asset usage, including insight into activities, anomalies, and configurations.
- Manage legacy issues: One of the biggest threats to retaining complete visibility of all corporate assets is retaining legacy software and hardware. In some cases, this may be business-critical but continuing to rely on products beyond their support period or that have become out of data increases cyber risk and maintenance costs. Asset management helps businesses to identify resources and systems that are reaching the end of support and enables them to plan ahead for managing their legacy assets.
- Deploy monitoring tools: As cyber threats become increasingly sophisticated, it’s crucial to monitor and detect potentially malicious activity. Organizations need to monitor activity in real-time, including monitoring new logins, new device activations, and potential threats, then react accordingly.
- Embrace identity and access management: With employees accessing networks and logging in to applications from new devices and locations, organizations must be able to identify and verify them immediately. A robust asset management process ensures all devices and users have unique identities and are only allowed the level of access they require. This ensures that only the right users can access the right systems at the right time, in the right place, at the right time.
- Patch and manage vulnerabilities: Having real-time visibility into the status and location of all assets is crucial to managing vulnerabilities. It ensures organizations fully understand when updates have been applied and when and where to scan for potential vulnerabilities. Businesses also need to stay up to date with the latest cyber threats and vulnerabilities that have been exposed and understand how they could potentially be impacted by them.
- Manage and respond to threats: Having a clear picture of what assets a company has and which are the most critical are vital to managing potential security incidents. It helps organizations to immediately detect, respond to, and recover from a threat, which ensures an attack causes minimal disruption.
- Manage your risk: Understanding and being able to manage cyber risk is reliant on being able to account for assets. If assets slip under the reader then businesses can’t see if the appropriate security controls are in place or whether risks are going unmanaged.
- Automate policy enforcement: As soon a risk or vulnerability is identified, it’s crucial to address and mitigate it immediately. Relying on people to do this manually is a challenging process that’s liable to human error. Businesses, therefore, need to automate the process through real-time policy enforcement and security tools that trigger the actions required to isolate devices, initiate updates, send alerts, and scan for vulnerabilities.
IT innovation is increasing rapidly but, armed with the right tools, organizations can not only keep pace but stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. Businesses need to ensure complete visibility of their cloud and on-premises environments and be able to monitor and detect all devices, regardless of when and where their employees work from.
Discover how Armis can help you gain comprehensive visibility of all your assets and close the gaps in your device security strategy with our Quick Visibility Assessment.