Asset management in the age of digital transformation

June 28, 2021  |  Todd Waskelis

Over the past year or so, organizations have rapidly accelerated their digital transformation by employing technologies like cloud and containers to support the shift to IoT and address the expanding remote workforce.

Visibility Matters:

This digital shift calls for a new approach to asset visibility as traditional asset administration responsibilities like inventory, software support, and license oversight are often the purview of IT and addressed with IT inventory-focused tools.  Along the way, many organizations have lost control over their IT asset inventory as they rush to adopt new transformation technologies that have blurred the boundaries of their traditional network perimeters. This lack of visibility into an IT environment undermines the foundations of enterprise security and compliance infrastructure and puts an organization at serious risk of a breach.

What you don't know can hurt you!

Fundamentally, security teams need to monitor IT asset health from a cybersecurity perspective to help detect security tool blind spots and responding to exposures quickly. It isn't easy to secure something in the world of cybersecurity if you don't know it exists. That's why cybersecurity asset management (or CSAM) is a critical component of the foundation of cybersecurity operations across businesses of all types. By providing a security team a real-time directory of IT assets and their associated security risks, CSAM is one of the building blocks of a proactive, end-to-end security strategy.

Asset inventory challenges:

Overall, the process of getting asset inventory can be cumbersome and time-consuming for an organization, but a few immediate challenges are:

    • Collecting data from multiple sources, especially in a large, distributed environment.
      • Over the past year, organizations have rapidly accelerated their digital transformation by utilizing technologies such as cloud and container that support the shift to IoT and a remote workforce. Many organizations have lost control over their IT asset inventory as they rush to adopt these new strategies that have blurred the boundaries of their network perimeters.
    • Testing/validating compliance
      • More and more compliance / best practices frameworks are moving towards a risk-based or maturity-focused goal. This requires organizations to know where they stand concerning control objectives, not "at some point in time" but rather "at any point in time."  Without a comprehensive and almost real-time inventory of all assets within an organization, it is nearly impossible to validate compliance in a programmatic fashion.

Implementing cyber asset inventory management

  • To maintain a complete, detailed, and continuously updated inventory of all your IT assets, wherever they reside (on-premises, in cloud instances, or mobile endpoints), you need an automated, cloud-based system that gives you the following capabilities
    • It needs to provide complete visibility of your IT environment – all IT assets include hardware and software
    • It needs to perform continuous and automatic updates of the IT and security data
    • It needs to be rapidly scalable without the need for additional hardware
    • It needs to help highlight and rank the criticality of assets
    • It needs interactive and customizable reporting features so you can slice/dice the data as required and ensure the reporting is consumable across multiple audiences.

Cybersecurity is a team sport. Having the ability to identify tooling that can consolidate workloads and meet cross-organizational functional requirements can be a massive win for the organization.

Asset management crucial to Zero Trust implementation

One of the most critical steps for planning a Zero Trust implementation is to have updated asset inventories. When I say asset, I mean a broader definition than is typically associated with an information security asset inventory. The asset inventory should include all hardware, software, network connections, users, data, and processes. By focusing on assets, an organization can set sensitivity and prioritization on those assets that require the most protection and security. Next, you move on to mapping all your assets and the interplay between each. Here you will be applying the concept of least privilege to every interaction among assets. This is no small task. But if you get this part wrong, throwing zero trust technology at your current problems will not help you attain your future desired state.

Learn how we can help.

Share this with others

Get price Free trial