We talk with cybersecurity professionals every day, and we always hear the same challenge. Even with a host of technologies and tools available today, many teams are still challenged when it comes to getting accurate, up-to-date information about assets.
“Sure,” they tell us. “Some tools can give us some pieces of the puzzles. But much of the information we need lives in various silos.
“That makes it tough to get a complete view of what’s in our environment, and — because the data spans multiple sources — even harder to answer simple questions.”
6 Common Asset Management Challenges
Across the board, assets pose a set of unique challenges for cybersecurity. These are the most common hurdles teams are up against:
- Finding unmanaged devices, like laptops, desktop serves, IoT devices, or any other endpoints unknown to the system and without an agent installed.
Why does this matter for cybersecurity teams? Simply put, if a device is unmanaged, you have no way of knowing whether or not it’s secure.
- Finding devices missing agents — meaning any physical or virtual device and cloud instance that’s expected to have an endpoint agent installed, but doesn’t. (Not to be confused with devices where agents are present but not functioning.)
This challenge matters to cybersecurity teams because, as you’ve heard a thousand times, “you can’t secure what you can’t see”. If you don’t know about all the relevant devices in your environment, how can you be confident you’re covered?
- Finding devices with malfunctioning agents. This means devices with either inactive agents or agents that aren’t sending back data like they should be.
Another important challenge to address, this matters to security teams because we don’t know if an agent is working properly if all we can tell is that it’s installed on a device.
- Finding cloud instances not being scanned for vulnerabilities. Specifically, we’re talking about public cloud infrastructure that you want scanned for known vulnerabilities.
The reason this one matters to security teams is pretty straightforward: if cloud instances aren’t being scanned, then they’re at risk of being exploited.
- Finding cloud instances misconfigured or not adhering to best practices, like those out of line with the CIS Foundations Benchmarks.
Data breaches caused by cloud misconfigurations are extremely common. And because the cloud is public, cybercriminals can automatically scan for publicly accessible instances and exploit those that aren’t properly secured.
- Finding contextual information about an alert, such as an IP address, a time, an indicator, or other data points that provide context to help a security team start investigating.
It’s critical that cybersecurity teams quickly get the necessary information about an alert so they can launch an investigation. Because as soon as that alert comes in, the clock starts ticking. The faster it can be remediated, the lower the risk and potential impact.
Solving Asset Management Challenges For Cybersecurity
Each of these asset-related challenges poses its own unique set of obstacles. But the good news is that — in every case — the data is all there, and the solutions that know about assets have APIs.
Whether you’re looking to tackle these challenges in-house or you plan on implementing a cybersecurity asset management solution, each can be solved by:
- Gathering data from any source that knows about assets
- Correlating the data to ensure that the solutions are referring to the same unique device
- Understanding the relationship between the asset and its solution coverage
- Querying across all data to get answers to questions
- Running continuous queries to know any time a new asset appears and when an asset changes
For a comprehensive overview of each challenge — along with why they matter and how to solve them — download “The 6 Most Common Asset Management Challenges for Cybersecurity”.