Gone are the days when all your IT assets were on-prem and inside your corporate network.
The proliferation of new asset types, increased cloud adoption, and the shift to remote work have all resulted in assets becoming more highly distributed, making them difficult to manage and inventory.
What does this mean for your security team?
It means they’re struggling to get accurate answers to asset-related questions, which can impact your organization’s security posture.
As you begin to explore effective ways to alleviate security woes, cybersecurity asset management can help solve this ever-growing challenge.
Our ebook, “Why Does Asset Management Matter for Cybersecurity” helps you understand the role asset management plays in cybersecurity and how it can bolster your organization’s cybersecurity defense strategies.
IT Asset Management vs. Cybersecurity Asset Management
Before we dive into what we mean by cybersecurity asset management, let’s quickly look at what IT asset management (ITAM) entails.
ITAM refers to a set of processes surrounding the financial, inventory, contractual, and lifecycle management of an IT asset. It helps maximize the business value obtained from these assets. In this case, an IT asset is really any device or cloud instance used for business purposes.
Key aspects of ITAM programs include:
- Asset inventory – Getting a comprehensive inventory of all hardware, software, and network assets
- License management – Ensuring all assets are running properly licensed software
- Lifecycle management – Deciding which assets should be decommissioned, managing the software licenses on these assets, and updating the inventory
Using this traditional definition, IT asset management would then be the sole responsibility of the IT and desktop support teams.
However, the process of gathering data about every asset and understanding what software is running is also critical and foundational to cybersecurity.
In “Why Does Asset Management Matter for Cybersecurity”, we define cybersecurity asset management as the process of:
- Gathering data from any source that provides detailed information about assets
- Correlating that data to generate a view of every asset and what's on it
- Continually validating every asset’s adherence to the overall security policy
- Creating automatic, triggered actions whenever an asset deviates from that security policy
In this context, cybersecurity asset management or modern asset management becomes imperative to driving successful cybersecurity projects and decisions.
Examples of Asset Management for Cybersecurity
The ebook delineates the intersection of asset management and cybersecurity, and delves into ways it can bolster core security functions, including:
- Endpoint protection: Helps detect assets missing an endpoint agent, or identify those that have the right agent installed — but where the agent isn’t working.
- Vulnerability management: Helps uncover assets not being scanned by a vulnerability assessment tool.
- Cloud security: Helps find cloud instances not being scanned for vulnerabilities, are misconfigured, or not adhering to industry benchmarks like CIS Foundations Benchmarks.
- Incident response: Uses enriched, correlated data on assets — from different data sources — to help expedite incident response investigations and remediation.
- Continuous Controls Monitoring: Helps automatically identify assets that stops adhering to your overall security policy.
- Security policy enforcement: Helps automatically address assets that don’t adhere to your security policies.