Secure Unmanaged Devices in the Enterprise

Illustration of an enterprise environment highlighting the discovery of devices.

In simple terms, unmanaged devices on enterprise networks are all assets that don’t run a traditional security agent or aren’t being managed by IT or security. These devices are everywhere, from the Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technology (OT) such as webcams and HVAC systems to shadow IT. Without the proper security controls, these connected assets that enterprises rely on for everyday operations may lead to cybersecurity gaps.

Read this white paper to learn how:

  • The traditional IT security model is corroding
  • IoT search engines make unmanaged assets easy targets
  • Patching inconsistencies lead to risk
  • Any device with a network stack can be turned into a proxy

    Unmanaged device security: Challenges and risks

    Here’s why enterprise cybersecurity teams lose sleep over unmanaged devices:

    • No security agents: Either these devices run incompatible operating systems, have inadequate computing resources, or are not owned by the enterprise. As a result, you can’t install traditional IT security agents. 
    • Unpatchable devices: Some assets may simply be unpatchable due to unavailable patches or outdated technology. Windows XP and protocols such as NTLM are good examples of assets lasting long after their expiration dates. Another challenge is when patches are few and far between for devices that still receive them.
    • An easy-to-discover attack surface: Many unmanaged devices are highly visible to threat actors, who use IoT search engines to quickly find hundreds or thousands of active targets when a vulnerability is discovered.  
    • The obsolete security perimeter: Unmanaged devices are problematic for endpoint and network security. Since these assets are constantly connected and exposed to untrusted devices and networks over Wi-Fi, carefully constructed security perimeters are rendered useless. Traditional cybersecurity architectures can’t fix these problems.
    • Access control problems: Device-based access and other methods that control access from unmanaged assets are ineffective. They are meant to serve only as the first line of defense. Most of the security lifecycle happens after access is granted, and a compromised device might still be able to authenticate with the network.

    Learn how to find unmanaged devices in your network with Armis

    Traditional security architectures are not designed to address all the new unmanaged assets flooding the enterprise environment. IoT devices deliver unmatched connectivity but unknown risk. 

    The Armis Platform provides enterprises with a cybersecurity architecture that integrates with the existing infrastructure and automates device discovery. Identify unmanaged devices with agentless monitoring, use various threat intelligence feeds to assess risk, and respond to threats in real time with Armis. Read our white paper to learn how.

    Get the White Paper