What is asset discovery? Benefits, best practices explained

May 28, 2020  |  Sanjay Darji

With advancing cyber threats to businesses, the importance of being aware of your own conditions (in the digital scenario) is becoming increasingly crucial. How will you decide whether your cloud or on-premises environment is vulnerable or not? Asset discovery enters the scene. If you don’t know what it is and what are the factors which make it a ‘not-to-ignore’ thing for yours or any business – you should upgrade your knowledge base immediately.

What is Asset Discovery?

Asset discovery involves keeping a check on the active and inactive assets present in your network. The tools used for this generally analyze the asset clusters and identify the relationships between their usage, the network, and devices.

Main Functions Asset Discovery Tools Perform for Your Business:

It is important to know which software modules are installed in your network. Interestingly, most employers and security professionals are unaware of the tools being used on their network, therefore an asset discovery tool is required. The main services an asset discovery tool provides are:

  • Diagnosis of problems / faults & resolving them
  • Device management
  • Asset maintenance
  • Configuration management  
  • Mitigation of security risks
  • Avoidance of unlicensed software packages (and hence, avoidance of malware and threats)
  • Eliminating commercial risks arising due to the exposure of organization’s sensitive data to unauthorized people/tools

How the Implementation of Asset Discovery Safeguards Businesses

Asset discovery not only maximizes the value of existing assets, but also optimizes the network in many ways. The benefits that make it crucial for your business are:

  1. Enhances the level of security

A likely path for a malware to enter your network is undoubtedly through unlicensed software. An asset discovery tool will capture these unlicensed software modules immediately and half of your problems are solved.

  1. Prevents penalties by confirming your licenses

You should know that software vendors use multiple ways to check whether the commercial implementation of their software is licensed or not. If someone is caught using unauthorized versions, they might have to face penalties. But when you have deployed asset discovery for your business, the authenticity of software licenses is checked regularly.

  1. Lets you learn about your network’s hardware and software assets

IT managers can use asset discovery as a method to understand network architecture. It uncovers many aspects of your network, allowing IT/Security professionals to safeguard the set-up more efficiently. A sample of questions it answers are:

  • What’s going on in your cloud environment?
  • Which assets are present in your physical and virtual network?
  • Which vulnerabilities are present in your on-premises or cloud networks?
  • What are the possible holes, which the attackers may use to harm you?
  • What are the active threats which need immediate resolution?
  1. Reminds you to keep your network updated

The efficient asset discovery tools will let you know about the installed assets, retired assets, license status, and more. So, you will be aware of the overall situation of your business network. Eventually, the maintenance and optimization become better due to this.

  1. Allows assessing where are you wasting money

Extra software, the lifespan of devices, unused licenses and future asset requirements will be available to you if you have implemented asset discovery. It allows the organizations to reduce hardware and software costs.  

  1. Simplify Tracking and Report Generation Procedures

Many businesses are embracing the concept of ‘Bring your own Device’ (BYOD); however, by doing so you could knowingly or unknowingly be giving unauthorized access to many devices and people. What if the BYOD connected device is more vulnerable or infected already?

Through asset discovery, you will be able to scan the vulnerabilities of connected devices. This continuous tracking will eliminate many of the threats of BYOD.

Also, you can easily generate quick reports for stakeholders and the IT department – a time-saver indeed!

As discussed, asset management and discovery is crucial for every business. So get started with implementing an asset discovery mechanism before it's too late. Keep in mind, asset discovery is an important start to the journey to detecting and responding quickly to malware and other threats.

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