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What is the purpose of IT asset management?

The purpose of IT asset management (ITAM) is to have a complete inventory and control of an organization’s software and hardware. ITAM is critical to improving cybersecurity and minimizing cyberattacks and breaches.

What is IT asset management (ITAM)?

IT Asset Management (ITAM) is the practice of managing and optimizing information technology (IT) assets, such as computers, databases, systems, applications, and networks across an organization.  

ITAM includes processes, such as purchasing, auditing, inventorying, and more. IT departments use ITAM to deploy, monitor, track, and maintain software and hardware. For example, it’s a common ITAM practice to assess the lifecycle of devices to determine if and when they should be replaced.

What is the importance of IT asset management?

Having a complete (and ideally unified) view of every asset in the IT environment can bring operational efficiencies and better business outcomes. An effective ITAM strategy can help organizations maximize their return on investment (ROI) for technology spending. 

The benefits of IT asset management software include:

  • More effective procurement and cost savings 
  • Increased cybersecurity and compliance control 
  • Improved decision-making thanks to real-time asset visibility

Why is ITAM critical to cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity frameworks and best practices emphasize the importance of asset management because organizations cannot secure the devices and systems they can’t see and monitor. The Center for Internet Security’s CIS Controls, for example, start with a set of Safeguards focused on asset management. CIS Control 1 deals with inventory and control of enterprise assets, while CIS Control 2 targets software assets, such as apps and operating systems.

Dispersed workforces and bring your own device (BYOD) trends increase the cybersecurity asset management challenges for organizations of all sizes. Having more devices connected to the internet expands the attack surface that bad actors could exploit. Digital assets, such as security cameras and wireless keyboards, cannot be managed with traditional IT endpoint security. Complete visibility into unmanaged devices helps minimize risks and vulnerabilities.

How to build a successful ITAM strategy?

A successful ITAM strategy requires a complete, accurate, and constantly updated inventory of all assets—those the IT team knows about as well as those it does not know about. This inventory should include every asset regardless of type or location. That’s why the first step to ITAM is asset discovery. 

For comprehensive asset visibility, organizations need an agentless device platform. The Armis platformprovides unified asset inventory and management for everything from virtual machines to Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and more. The Armis platform also identifies vulnerabilities and calculates a risk score for each device, helping IT teams to prioritize their security efforts.

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