This is how cybersecurity teams can improve IT asset management

This is how cybersecurity teams can improve IT asset management

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Establishing and maintaining a strong cybersecurity program is critical for today’s businesses.

We all know that. 

But many organizations don’t know that as they move mission-critical operations to the cloud, they also lose visibility into their assets. 

A company can only protect the assets that it knows it has, but the cloud’s flexibility and speed can lead to unknown, unmanaged assets. 

So, how can you handle the unknown exposure?

The answer lies in learning how to improve asset management with an External Attack Surface Management (EASM) solution to improve your security. 

Let’s dig in. 

What asset management is all about

In this digital era, IT administrators and security teams lack broad visibility into their networks.

With more and more devices and software apps connected to an organization’s network infrastructure, security teams encounter difficulties securing their environment.

What IT professionals need is the right approach for addressing their security issues. 

Today, most teams hold a complete and solid inventory of the network’s assets, which helps identify the security gaps.

And this is where asset management comes into play. It is an ongoing, automatic process that involves:

  1. Obtaining and maintaining a comprehensive asset inventory including all IT resources such as servers, websites, containers, 3rd party SaaS vendors, and cloud storage. 
  2. Identifying the network’s blind spots and security gaps of each asset in the organization’s network inventory. 
  3. Smart remediation plan for each security gap identified, rapidly addressing every blind spot to create a solid, resilient network.

Keeping an up-to-date asset inventory of your network is a fundamental part of your organization’s cybersecurity strategy.

And so, asset management helps you identify each asset that could pose risk to your organization before attackers discover and exploit them. 

Why is managing digital assets more challenging than ever before?

Due to the move to cloud, the location and types of assets organizations need to manage change, often leaving IT departments without direct control over them. 

It-Managers-Workload

In turn, every department in the organization requires a different set of tools, applications, and permissions to do their jobs. 

But, this increases the complexity of managing digital assets. For example, IT departments need to monitor:

  • Constantly changing server settings, 
  • Exposures across several dev / QA / product teams
  • Access protocols across several dev / QA / product teams.

The shift to a hybrid workplace has made endpoints and remote access even more challenging to manage, update, and monitor. 

The bottom line is that assets no longer reside within the organization’s physical location or traditional firewall, and as such, traditional security protections no longer can mitigate risk. 

Get on board the External Attack Surface Management train

External Attack Surface Management (EASM) solutions might seem complicated at first.  

In fact, such solutions enable organizations to detect, identify, and inventory all assets across their threat landscape. 

With EASM, organizations can uncover all internet-facing assets across all environments. 

And by discovering these assets, security teams can enforce the appropriate security controls and monitor configurations.

So, what does set EASM solutions apart from traditional solutions?

Single source of truth

Some IT assets can be identified and inventoried in vendor-supplied tools. For example, cloud services providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud provide monitoring tools. 

Azure-Aws-GoogleCloud-Providers-EASM

Additionally, many organizations can manage their corporate-owned hardware assets and software licenses with traditional tools. 

But, monitoring all assets across multiple locations then becomes time-consuming. 

As assets are added and removed, IT teams need to ensure that all monitoring locations stay updated.

With EASM you can tackle these challenges.

How? Organizations can establish a single inventory that acts as a repository for all digital assets, including ones with short lifespans. 

This provides complete visibility into the organization’s threat landscape, ensuring that all assets are known and managed appropriately. 

Set penetration testing scope more precisely

Penetration tests provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of an organization’s controls.

They are expensive, so companies need to precisely set the scope to address the highest risk environments and assets. 

EASM and its ability to automate reconnaissance, vulnerability analysis, and prioritization can help organizations expand their penetration test scope to address high-risk assets. 

As such, organizations can gain greater value from their penetration testing by bringing new critical assets into the scope and validating controls around them.

Enhance cyber hygiene

Using EASM, organizations give their security, IT, and DevOps teams the tools to monitor for risky misconfigurations. 

Since EASM monitors the entire Internet rather than focusing on the organization-provided IP addresses, it can provide real-time visibility into unintentional exposures. 

This both enhances cyber hygiene and provides important documentation needed for proving governance as part of the company’s compliance program. 

With this real-time insight and documentation, you can take a proactive approach to data security and provide auditors with proof that they follow their internally defined controls.

Improving IT asset management: what to look for  

A key step in effective asset management is choosing the right solution.  

Most EASM solutions use a proprietary internet scanning technology that collects, aggregates, and correlates data to detect known and unknown assets tied to an organization. 

Instead of monitoring only provided IP addresses, the key is to detect, identify, and inventory all assets scattered across the internet, including servers, IoT devices, shadow IT, and forgotten environments.

Then, make sure the asset management solution updates the asset inventory in real-time, providing complete visibility into all potentially risky assets. 

Last, these solutions should provide real-time continuous exposure monitoring reviews assets for any changes, and automatically update the inventory as needed. 

In the end, managing your IT assets will help you stay ahead of the next cyber-attack.

 Want to gain complete control of your IT network?  Talk to our product specialist today.

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Reposify is an attack surface management platform delivering autonomous 24/7 discovery of exposed assets across all environments and the supply chain. Leading enterprises worldwide use Reposify to gain unparalleled visibility of their internet-facing assets and actionable security insights for eliminating shadow IT risks in real-time

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