Asset Management

Asset managementAsset management is often the first step in understanding your business’s cybersecurity scope and potential vulnerabilities. Today on the blog, we are going back to basics to explore what asset management is in cybersecurity and how you should use it to make your business data more secure.

Often small businesses add technology quickly to fulfill a need, keep production moving, or ensure the customer experience remains at a high level. Sometimes cybersecurity is not considered when a new device or software is added, or the old technology remains online, unused, or unprotected on the internet. Asset management is about understanding all the devices, applications, SaaS, cloud storage, and third-party vendors that have access to your business data.

When a device vendor stops supporting a network device, it is referred to as end-of-life (EoL). Cybercriminals track EoL updates from manufacturers and look for these vulnerable devices on the internet. When a manufacturer EoLs a device, it throws a spotlight on that entry point because hackers know it will no longer receive security patches and updates. Criminals work quickly to break into the EoL device and use that vulnerability as an entry point into a target network.

Employees represent another variable of asset management. Employee access to data and applications should be limited to those needed to do their job. Additionally, businesses should have policies for data handling and remote work considerations. Asset management is critical when offboarding employees, especially if they are unhappy with the process. Finally, employees can bring IoT or other network devices to work, which could open up new vulnerabilities if they have access to the business network.

Asset management helps plug potential cybersecurity holes that criminals could exploit in your business. Devices left unaccounted for, unpatched software, and open or forgotten VPN access represent potential entry points for malicious actors. These three examples represent the entry points for significant, national newsworthy breaches over the past few years.

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Posted by Charles Wright