We tend to think of security as the tools in place like email scanning, malware and anti-virus protection, but did you know that the process of asset management helps you minimize the threat landscape too?
While the management of software and hardware has historically been treated as a cost minimizing function, where tracking hardware and software could be the difference between driving value or reducing it from an organizational perspective. However, even the best security plan can be as strong as its weakest link, and if IT administrators are unaware where assets reside, the software running on them, and who has access, they are at risk.
Understanding the device as well as the data is what matters here. Having an in-depth knowledge of the network of devices and their data is the first step in the futile attempts to protect it. Often organizations have the tools in place to support and maintain the device, but once in place on the network, it can be easy to set it and forget it until it needs repair, replacement, or up for the annual review. Conducting asset management on a reoccurring basis should be a foundational function for your security plan. It can strengthen the already-in-place security tools. Remember, it must be continuous to be truly effective.
When you are conducting continuous asset management you can always answer the following the questions should an incident occur:
- What’s currently facing the internet?
- How many total systems do you have?
- Where is your data?
- How many vendors do you have?
- Which vendors have what kind of your data?
Companies struggle with consistent and mature asset management because they often don’t have the time or dedicated resources to stay on top of it. However, an IT asset management program can add value by means of reducing costs, improving operational efficiency, determining full cost and providing a forecast for future investments. Oversight and governance help to solidify policies and procedures already in place.
Find tools that compliment and strengthen business processes by significantly improving the ability to discover, inventory, manage, and report. Additional tool sets like antivirus, malware, email protection, and user training must be added to help further protect users and their data which will ultimately reduce business operational risk.