Why Is Creating an Asset Inventory Critical for Your Cybersecurity Posture?
An asset inventory is the core component of a cybersecurity asset management program. It is a comprehensive list of all hardware, software, network devices, and other technology assets within an organization, whether they are based in the cloud, in containers, or on-premises. Having such an inventory allows you to optimize your cybersecurity planning and prioritize your efforts on the most important, business-critical functions. It also gives you the context you need to understand interdependencies between critical assets. An inventory can be used to locate weak points in your organization’s cybersecurity posture, such as shadow IT utilization or clusters of insecure systems connected to a critical business function.
Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date asset inventory supports your cybersecurity posture in several ways including:
An inventory provides visibility into your organization's technology landscape. Knowing what assets exist is fundamental to securing them. Without an inventory, your organization may overlook critical components, making it easier for attackers to exploit unnoticed vulnerabilities.
Understanding which assets are fundamental to the operation of your organization’s critical business functions is a vital part of assessing your overall cybersecurity risk. It enables you to identify potential vulnerabilities, prioritize security efforts based on their associated critical business function, and allocate resources effectively to address the most critical risks.
An asset inventory is essential for implementing effective vulnerability management. Knowing which software and hardware components your organization uses allows you to track vulnerabilities associated with specific assets and apply patches or updates promptly. You can also prioritize which vulnerabilities are more urgent based on the impacted asset’s connection to critical business functions within your organization.
In the event of a cybersecurity incident, having an accurate asset inventory is crucial for a swift and effective response. Incident response teams need to know what systems and data are affected in order to contain and remediate the incident promptly. In addition, knowing which systems are connected to and communicate with affected systems is also critical, as attackers can use these paths for lateral movement.
Proper access control is a key aspect of cybersecurity. An accurate asset inventory helps you manage user access by providing insights into who has access to specific systems and applications. Unauthorized access can be identified and mitigated more efficiently.
Compliance and Auditing
Many industry regulations and compliance standards require organizations to maintain an accurate inventory of their assets. Having an up-to-date asset inventory facilitates compliance audits and ensures that your organization can meet regulatory requirements.
Third-Party Risk Management
Organizations often use third-party vendors and services. Maintaining an asset inventory helps you understand the external dependencies and potential risks associated with third-party relationships, allowing you to make better risk management decisions.
A continuously updated inventory supports effective change management by documenting changes to the IT environment. It helps you track modifications, updates, and additions to your infrastructure, reducing the risk of misconfigurations and ensuring that security controls are consistently applied.
In summary, an asset inventory serves as the foundation for various cybersecurity practices and controls. It enhances an organization's ability to identify, protect, detect, respond to, and recover from cybersecurity incidents, ultimately contributing to a more robust and resilient security posture.
Redjack Can Help
In the past, the only way to compile an asset inventory was by using techniques that offered only a limited view into your network assets while also being excessively manual, tedious, and time-consuming.
Redjack has pioneered a new technique to compile an asset inventory. By placing sensors in your network that capture communications data, the Redjack platform can use AI-driven analysis to create a map of your corporate infrastructure. This gives you complete visibility into the true extent of your connected asset infrastructure, including which assets are interrelated or interdependent.
Contact us to find out more about the benefits of a communications-based approach to IT asset management.