Table of Contents
- What can happen when ITAM and cybersecurity do not integrate?
6 reasons why you need an ITAM to solidify your cybersecurity program
- 1. Provides an accurate inventory of all your IT assets in a single dashboard
- 2. Detects unauthorized assets within your network and alerts the incident response team
- 3. Helps to monitor ownership, stakeholder access, and usage with ease
- 4. Check the warranty status and asset usage to ensure that it is up-to-date
- 5. Intimates the relevant asset owner in the event of an incident
- 6. Integrates with security-focused tools to provide more secure protection
- Strengthen your IT security with Virima
Cyberattacks have increased over the years. If your organization is to be successful globally, you need to support your IT infrastructure with a mature and well-planned cybersecurity program. A recent study found that cybercriminals can penetrate 93% of networks.
In other words, if cyber criminals could get a hold of your client data, they might sell it to third parties who can use it for nefarious purposes. A strong cybersecurity program is essential to protecting your clients’ valuable information.
While technology is an essential aspect of computer security, it is part of a broader cybersecurity program or integrating multiple tools for defense depth. One of these tools is IT Asset Management (ITAM). ITAM is the process of planning, implementing, and improving the use of Information Technology (IT) resources such as hardware, software, networking equipment, and more. It helps executives and IT professionals understand how organizations create, use, store, and manage data.
This article will discuss what happens when ITAM does not integrate with your cybersecurity program and six reasons to invest in an asset management software to support security initiatives.
What can happen when ITAM and cybersecurity do not integrate?
When your ITAM and cybersecurity do not integrate, you risk:
- Loss of data: A lack of information about security incidents can leave you vulnerable to data loss. If there is no process for documenting when an incident occurs or how you handled it, there is no way to know if that same issue will arise again in the future. It also means that your ability to learn from past mistakes is limited, which can lead to more vulnerabilities down the road.
- Loss of revenue: Data breaches are expensive—not only do they cost companies millions in lost productivity and repair costs, but they also significantly impact company reputation and customer loyalty (which translates into lost revenue). In 2022, the average cost of a data breach was $4.35 million globally. In the United States alone, it was $9.44 million. When you consider the financial repercussions of these activities, protecting your organization has become a mission-critical activity.
- Loss of customer trust: If your internal infrastructure is not protected, there is no reason for customers to trust your product—or any other service you offer. This is because cyber protection is a given in today’s date and not an afterthought. Any company that treats it as such will be on the losing end, and it will become harder to convince existing customers to stay and new customers to work with you.
6 reasons why you need an ITAM to solidify your cybersecurity program
An ITAM can help streamline the entire cybersecurity asset management process within your organization. However, how that strengthens your security posture needs to be better understood. To help you understand this, we have listed six reasons you need an ITAM for this purpose:
1. Provides an accurate inventory of all your IT assets in a single dashboard
An ITAM tool provides an accurate inventory of your organization’s IT assets. Companies can manage vulnerabilities better when they have access to a regularly updated inventory.
A good example is ransomware. Ransomware attacks are on the rise and are becoming increasingly sophisticated. One of the biggest challenges with ransomware is that it can spread quickly through networks if companies do not know what they have or where they are located. It is hard to contain the damage caused by ransomware attacks without knowing this information. If you do not know your assets, securing them from such deadly attacks is almost impossible.
An ITAM dashboard can provide a centralized database of all the IT assets in your organization, including hardware, software, and documents. It enables companies to perform more effective audits and find gaps in their security posture.
2. Detects unauthorized assets within your network and alerts the incident response team
By utilizing advanced analytics and sophisticated algorithms, an ITAM tool can scan the entire network and pinpoint any anomalies or suspicious activity that may be present. In addition, it can also detect any unknown IP addresses, ports, services, or software installations that your IT team has not authorized. If it discovers anything out of the ordinary, it acts as a cybersecurity tool can immediately alert your incident response team so they can take swift action if needed.
Plus, since the alert is sent with context from the tool, the incident response team will have all the necessary information. Using this, incident managers can quickly determine how serious the issue is and what remedial measures will be required to protect against potential damage.
The fact that this process is automated helps expedite this process significantly since manual checks would take much longer and leave you vulnerable during the interim period. Additionally, these advanced analytics capabilities allow for continuous monitoring of network environments for threats and their corresponding behavior so that you can stay up-to-date on security threats in real-time.
3. Helps to monitor ownership, stakeholder access, and usage with ease
ITAM tools allow you to visualize assets across their entire lifecycle, from procurement to decommissioning. You can see who owns each asset and which stakeholders have access to or are responsible for it. It helps ensure that only authorized personnel can take specific actions on the asset. With an ITAM tool, its asset tracking capabilities can tell you how assets are being used over time to manage software license costs and asset rightsizing better.
The advanced analytics capabilities of an ITAM tool will give you an in-depth understanding of your asset landscape at a glance. You can quickly identify trends in utilization patterns and spot indicators for underutilization or overutilization to take proactive action if needed.
You will also gain greater insight into incidents related to these assets and their usage. You will be able to detect and respond rapidly when problems arise, with the right people immediately notified of any potential issues. Plus, this insight will allow you to identify potential risks before they become more serious problems and lead to costly downtime or security breaches.
4. Check the warranty status and asset usage to ensure that it is up-to-date
An ITAM tool can help you check the warranty status and asset usage to ensure that it is up-to-date by tracking the end-of-service life dates of hardware and software. It means that when a product reaches its end of life, it can let you know so that you can replace or upgrade it.
Plus, you can access detailed information about each asset in your organization, including:
- Warranty expiry dates
- Purchase and renewal data
- User profiles
- Vendor contact details
- Asset serial numbers
- Software purpose
- Patch updates release date
- Patch installation dates
It provides increased visibility into systems architecture to identify hardware/software compatibility issues before installing new technology or upgrading existing ones. From a cybersecurity perspective, you can never miss a patch update or a new version with better security capabilities. When you have all the information, you can monitor each aspect with complete visibility, avoiding any security compliance lapses.
5. Intimates the relevant asset owner in the event of an incident
ITAM tools can be instrumental in helping you identify the relevant asset owner quickly in the event of an incident. It can often be time-sensitive, as you must make decisions promptly and accurately to minimize damage and disruption. You can quickly search and query your asset inventory to retrieve the necessary information when tracking down who owns certain assets.
You can also use the same ITAM system to track where assets are located and how that impacts other services. Moreover, an ITAM system allows you to keep track of the contracts associated with particular assets and update them accordingly so that everyone involved knows about any changes or updates in ownership.
For example, if a rogue application is present on the security analyst’s device, the remediation action will be different from that of somebody from the HR department.
6. Integrates with security-focused tools to provide more secure protection
An ITAM tool can integrate with security-focused tools to provide further and more secure protection in various ways. On the network level, you can combine an ITAM tool with Network Access Control (NAC) solutions such as Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPSs) or Firewalls to detect and block malicious network traffic that could lead to a cyber attack on the network infrastructure. Additionally, ITAM integration with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions can help prevent confidential data from leaking outside the organization’s boundary.
On the application level, this integration can also provide further protection against unauthorized access and data theft by linking an asset’s configuration settings to centrally defined security policies. This enables organizations to ensure that all assets are running software versions with up-to-date security patches and that any backdoor accounts or other potentially risky configurations are disabled or removed.
Apart from the technical aspect, integrating an ITAM system with other security products provides organizations with unified visibility into their assets’ security state, allowing them to quickly identify vulnerable systems based on existing vulnerabilities or missing patches. Combining this information with contextual information such as user identity and endpoint location makes it easier for organizations to assess potential risk areas and take appropriate action to reduce exposure.
For example, Virima integrates with security-related products like Tufin, Okta, NIST (National Vulnerability Database), Ping, OneLogin, and more.
Strengthen your IT security with Virima
Integrating ITAM is critical to your organization’s cybersecurity. With ITAM, you can create an inventory of your endpoints and their associated software, systems, and applications. That information is paramount for detecting potential vulnerabilities at the endpoint level. An effective ITAM program can help you identify those issues before they expose your organization to cyber threats.
For example, Virima’s ITAM tool integrates with IT Discovery and Service Mapping tools to provide a full-force solution to manage your assets. The automated discovery feature scans your network and discovers assets irrespective of which environment it is present in.
Using the data from these scans, you can build an accurate inventory of your IT assets and create dynamic service maps that help you visualize your entire network in one place. The service map reflects the state of your network in real-time—ensuring you know what is in your network at all times.
Additionally, Virima also integrates with the National Vulnerability Database (NIST), Common Platform Enumeration (CPE), and Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) databases for no additional cost. Commonly found in vulnerability management systems, these databases use the data to reliably identify threats in your network based on threats classified by vulnerability experts. Plus, you have the option to receive automated vulnerability reports so that you are constantly updated on the presence of any issues in your network.Are you interested in seeing what our ITAM tool can do for you? Book a demo with Virima for a personalized walk-through of our tool’s capabilities.