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Data breach prevention: Reduce risks with asset discovery

Data breach prevention with asset discovery

Data breaches are a major concern for organizations of all sizes. They can result in fines, lawsuits and damage to an organization’s reputation. 

As an IT organization, you’re no stranger to threats. From malicious hackers to disgruntled employees and careless contractors, the threat of data breaches looms over your company’s information security efforts.

IT discovery protects your organization from data breaches by discovering devices, software packages, critical vulnerabilities, configurations, and dependencies. By proactively identifying devices that can be compromised, you reduce the amount of risk your organization faces. By investing in a good asset discovery process and tools, you can help protect yourself from these breaches—and it might even save you money in the long run.

What’s new for IT discovery in 2023? Find out.

What is IT discovery?

IT discovery can be defined as a process that uses automated techniques to search your environment and map assets that comprise your organization’s digital perimeter. By identifying and mapping these assets in real-time, asset discovery provides an accurate snapshot of your organization’s security posture.

IT discovery is an ongoing process that helps organizations find all their assets (hardware and software) on a network so they can manage them properly. 

If an asset isn’t discovered during this process, it could pose a risk to your organization’s security—and if it’s not protected properly after being identified, could lead to costly data breaches down the road.

Why is a good IT discovery process important?

You may be wondering why it’s important to know what assets you have. After all, you could just look at your network diagram and make a list of resources on each server or device. However, this would be a very incomplete list of the IT assets in use by your business.

To truly understand your IT environment, you need to know more than just network diagrams and IP addresses—you need an accurate inventory of how every single computer is being used within your organization. 

This can only be accomplished by having an understanding of what software is installed on each device. You must know who uses that device, when they use it, for what purpose they use it, and where any sensitive data resides (both physically and logically).

Read about: Agentless vs agent-based discovery 

Why should you invest in IT asset discovery

The purpose of asset discovery is to identify all of the assets in your organization’s digital perimeter. This includes domains, IP addresses, and FQDNs.

 It can be incredibly time consuming for a security analyst to manually search for asset data across different web service providers and tools, but with automated techniques you can achieve a much more rapid identification of your organization’s perimeter, which will lead to increased visibility and ultimately improved security outcomes.

Here are some reasons for you to invest in IT asset discovery.

1. Invest in the right technology

The goal with asset discovery is to identify all devices connected to your network and classify them based on their capabilities. By identifying these devices and how they could impact your organization, you can take proactive steps to minimize the risk of a breach.

As IT Ops grows and the scope of understanding and maintaining assets becomes more complex, it’s important to look at pre-existing security tools for asset discovery. 

Vulnerability scanners can help identify unidentified devices, active directory can be used to identify domain connected devices, antivirus tools can have a built-in discovery mode, and CMDBs can help with lifecycle management. 

The overall goal is to properly patch, secure, and manage data across your environment. A good asset discovery process will ensure that all devices on your network are protected and managed in a centralized location. This will allow you to efficiently audit, analyze, diagnose, and remediate any security vulnerabilities.

Governance, service management, and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools can assist in identifying misconfigured assets and gaps in coverage.

2. Gain visibility of your digital environment

Cyberattacks on external assets are growing at an alarming rate. With the number of devices, sites and systems that touch your network constantly increasing your exposure to risk exponentially. 

Use a dynamic asset discovery solution to uncover all of your network-facing assets and gain real-time penetration testing as part of normal operations so you can see vulnerabilities as they appear – before they are exploited.

3. A proactive security process

The modern threat environment demands a proactive approach to security. A good asset discovery solution will automatically identify online assets that you might not be aware of.

Asset discovery tools detect online environment changes that you might not be aware of, including scraping, website code analysis, and active DNS discovery. Also use geolocation to accurately identify physical locations using IP subnets and IP ranges as granular level data points.

4. Stay compliant with data security regulations

With EU and other international organizations implementing new data policies every year, you need to ensure that your data protection strategies are up to date.

An efficient asset discovery process can help you comply with legal and regulatory rules. This way you can ensure that your business is compliant, and also identify potential threats to your data.

5. Implement an effective IT discovery process to reduce data breaches

Implementing a solid IT asset discovery process within an organization is crucial for reducing the risk of data breaches. It is essential to have a good IT discovery process in place, as this will help to identify any devices that are not managed through your normal processes and security tools.

It is equally important that organizations implement ongoing asset discovery processes rather than just running them every year or so, as it allows you to maintain up-to-date information on all of your assets at any given time. Additionally, it ensures that you have enough time between surveys so that they are complete and accurate when they need to be used by IT teams who may be trying to make decisions based on them (e.g., patching).

Use an efficient IT discovery tool to keep your data organized and stay secure

While IT asset discovery is not a cure for all the world’s ills, it can help your organization take important steps towards reducing its exposure to data breaches. Making sure that you know what devices and software are being used in your company will make it easier to ensure they’re secure and updated on a regular basis. This will also help you prevent outside threats from infiltrating your network as easily as possible.

The first step to avoiding a data breach is keeping your records up to date. This can be difficult for any large organization, but it’s especially challenging for small businesses. If you want to avoid missing out on important information, it’s important that someone from your team is solely in charge of keeping the records updated and organized.

An efficient IT discovery tool like Virima Discovery can help you keep track of your information. This all-in-one IT discovery solution can instantly identify hundreds of assets and vulnerabilities across your physical, cloud, and hybrid environments with agent-based and agentless scanning.

Virima IT Discovery provides a holistic view of your IT environment by automatically discovering physical, virtual, and cloud assets. This solution can help you reduce your risk of data breach due to compromised or unsecured assets, making it the ideal tool for compliance audits.

You can do a lot more with Virima Discovery and ViVID Service Mapping. Find out all about them by scheduling a demo.

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