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What is Technical Debt in Cybersecurity?

Although technical debt is often used in software development, this term can be applied to any technical project.

In IT infrastructure, technical debt is the implied cost of not maintaining technology devices, such as computers, servers, and applications, at a state where the organization and technology landscape requires them to be. These outdated systems and components are also often known as legacy infrastructure.

In cybersecurity, tech debt can build up from poor cyber hygiene practices.

One of the main reasons why a company accrues tech debt is by neglecting or delaying modernization. Organizations that fail to upgrade aging technology and devices can rack up tech debt since legacy software and tools may not be equipped to handle modern speeds and expectations. Since outdated technology is unavoidable, businesses must consider tech debt in their budgets.

How Does Tech Debt Affect Your Organization?

Your organization should measure its tech debt because if left unmanaged, it can grow — leading to decreased productivity, increased costs, and cyber risks.

Your team should be performing a complete inventory of their IT and OT infrastructure to better assess devices and application lifespan — and their vulnerabilities, too. Following this assessment, take steps to combat technical debt by replacing outdated equipment before it negatively impacts operations.

Measuring and managing tech debt is crucial to reducing the chance of an attacker exploiting vulnerabilities in your system.

Use Armis to reduce technical debt

The Armis platform identifies tech debt by providing your organization with complete visibility of your devices and the contextual intelligence about them. With a comprehensive view of your entire network and everything connected to it, you can address tech debt by identifying assets in use and which systems are nearing their lifecycle.

Watch this video to learn how to leverage Armis in your enterprise to tackle tech debt.