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    Back to Blog November 11, 2021

    IT Asset Inventory As a Process, Not an Event

    Ask any CIO or CISO about IT asset management and they’ll agree on one core concept: having a comprehensive IT asset inventory is foundational to success. 

    An asset inventory is the benchmark for operational IT considerations like hardware spend, licensing, and software updates. Equally important, the inventory is used by security teams to define and strengthen their security posture. For that, the inventory has to be current, accurate, and include all devices, users, and cloud instances. 

    You need visibility — an accurate baseline of information to evaluate, analyze, and compare.

    The IT Asset Inventory Challenge

    The challenge? A comprehensive asset inventory isn’t always the easiest thing to create and maintain. Traditional methods of auditing assets to build an inventory are time-consuming, fragmented, and difficult to keep up-to-date. 

    It takes roughly 86 person hours, on average, to generate an asset inventory, utilizing a combination of eight to 10 tools that weren’t built for the task. 

    Each audit is a point-in-time event, with time lapses between events where the status of assets can change, networks can experience unauthorized access, or incident response times can lag, leaving organizations open to compromise. 

    What happens when asset inventories are created from a series of manual events rather than an automated process?

    • Information is siloed, failing to provide a unified view of all assets
    • Audit prep is time consuming, limiting the ability to optimize and deploy resources to higher value activities
    • Alerts, triage, and incident response times lag, leaving organizations open to compromise 
    • It becomes nearly impossible to find unmanaged or ephemeral devices
    • Devices may be out of compliance with security policies or regulations
    • IT assets may have overlap, costing the company unnecessary software or hardware spending
    • CMDB (if one is used) information is out-of-date and unreliable
    Compounding Factors

    Digital transformation, accelerated by the pandemic, is exerting new pressure on CIOs and CISOs to do more. Work-from-home distributed networks, use of cloud services, and the sheer volume of diverse devices and users are testing the limits of static inventories in asset management. The result? Asset visibility remains a top challenge. 

    IT and security roles are also expanding, and expectations are high that new responsibilities in these areas will result in improved IT operations and system performance, as well as stronger security for the organizations and their customers. 

    In some instances, CIOs and CISOs are being asked to not only reduce operational expense, but innovate to help with revenue generation — a role not typically associated with their responsibilities.  

    Embracing an Automated, Process-Based Approach to IT Asset Inventory 

    Fortunately, organizations are recognizing the challenges and taking steps to combat them. In fact, 82% plan to increase investment to address inadequate asset inventory management. They’re moving away from the concept of manual, event-based audits and inventories, and shifting toward a programmatic process that automates data collection and correlation, removes the taxing resource commitment, and can be continuously run for real-time results. Many are looking to cybersecurity asset management platforms like Axonius for solutions. 

    Cybersecurity asset management platforms correlate data from multiple sources to: 

    • Provide real-time, unified, and comprehensive asset visibility
    • Uncover devices not easily found by one asset management or security tool alone
    • Identify unauthorized devices on restricted network segments, devices with missing and broken security agents, and unmanaged devices
    • Track all devices in dynamic environments
    • Identify changes in environments that may indicate problems
    • Accelerate incident response and remediation by providing one single source of IT asset truth
    • Find solution overlap to determine where redundancies can be eliminated
    • Demonstrate compliance with security policies or regulations

    An automated asset inventory delivered as a process helps organizations negotiate the ever-complex and demanding nature of their IT and security landscapes, helping them minimize complexity and achieve technological innovation.  

    Interested in learning how Axonius can help? Schedule a demo today.

    Tags: Cybersecurity Asset Management, IT Asset Management

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