With so many different pieces of software and infrastructure being used across your organisation, we’re guessing that once you implemented a formal system of IT asset management, life became a whole lot easier for your team. You went from spending hours identifying and updating your data (only for it to become out of date almost instantly) to having a clear, organised and centralised system with complete control to proactively and effortlessly manage the lifecycle of each of your assets.
But are you using your new IT asset management system to its fullest? Have you realised the vulnerability management benefits yet? If not, read on and we’ll explain how you can make vulnerability management a key part of your asset management strategy and dramatically improve your organisation’s security posture.
Like every business, yours has an overstretched IT department, saddled with more responsibility than it can cope with.
With the right asset management software in place, you’ve seen a real difference to what can be achieved and all your IT assets are now identified, classified, and managed in a manner that optimises their value to your organisation.
You can now:
This is key for compliance with industry and Government legislations and having the data up-to-date and easy to access has eased the stress of preparing for each audit.
The new IT asset management approach should also have significantly enhanced your ability to identify and tackle vulnerabilities. Let us explain.
Vulnerability management is the process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating vulnerabilities in your systems and networks.
Done properly, you take the following steps:
Step 1: Scan all of your assets to uncover every weakness in network
Step 2: Prioritise the vulnerabilities in order of criticality to your business ensuring that the biggest, and most likely threats, are tackled first
Step 3: Remediate in order of priority.
This process should work well, provided you have full visibility of all of your assets. This is where IT asset management can really help.
Without full visibility of your IT estate, your sterling vulnerability management efforts will be in vain as just one forgotten device could be running outdated software or even malware that could one day compromise your entire IT infrastructure and drive your business to a devastating halt. You cannot protect what you don’t know about.
Thanks to the insight your solid IT asset management software provides, you can give your vulnerability scanner a full list of assets to monitor, ensuring that nothing is missed. It may even be the case that your IT asset management software has vulnerability scanning capability built-in, helping you to move on to Steps 2 and 3 of vulnerability management easily.
On the subject of step 2, the main reason vulnerability prioritisation has become so important is the rapid increase in the number of vulnerabilities facing businesses. IT security teams are no longer able to tackle every issue and there are three ways businesses currently prioritise their risk: manual triage which is laborious and time-consuming; using a third party vulnerability management program which will use proprietary algorithms to prioritise, reducing the chance that vulnerabilities are correctly ranked according to your business risk appetite; and using a personalised automated prioritisation platform such as RankedRight.
With the final option, you set rules on how vulnerabilities should be prioritised and assigned to remediation teams and it will sort the data from every new scan within minutes, ensuring the vital work of remediating critical vulnerabilities happens without delay.
When determining what is critical, IT asset management is of great value again. This is because it gives you a crystal clear understanding of your IT environment in terms of value of asset, helping you to correctly prioritise the vulnerabilities affecting the most crucial systems over those that are less frequently used.
These are two huge benefits that asset management brings to vulnerability management: full visibility of your IT estate to identify every weakness lurking within it; and rich, contextual understanding of how each asset operates and brings value to your organisation so that you can prioritise the vulnerabilities facing you.
Conversely, a solid vulnerability management program can also enhance your asset management strategy.
When we first started RankedRight, we questioned whether or not we should provide the basic level of asset management that we do and one of our advisors said something that is very true: “When you scan your network for vulnerabilities, there are always assets popping up that you don’t know about or recognise.” Vulnerability management can be good for asset management because it teaches you the value of having a full and up-to-date inventory of everything within your IT estate. And with the right vulnerability management tools in place, such as a comprehensive scanner, as well as RankedRight for prioritisation and intelligence, you can then use the learnings to inform your future asset management decisions.
As mentioned above, with the right asset management support in place, you can make well-informed, contextual decisions about how to prioritise vulnerabilities. These can then be set as rules within the RankedRight system for the platform to apply time and time again.
And, by using your understanding of your assets that you glean from your asset management tooling, you can then start to classify your assets in RankedRight either with user-defined tags (which can replicate tags from the tooling) or with asset criticality scores that you determine with your new-found knowledge of what that asset does.
Armed with RankedRight’s vulnerability intelligence you can react accordingly. There’s also an audit trail on the system so that you and the team can monitor how an asset has been affected by vulnerabilities and how they have been dealt with to feed back into your asset management strategy going forward.
Working in IT security is tough and overwhelming but having the right technology in place to help you can make a sizeable difference not just to your productivity but to your peace of mind as well.
IT asset management software and vulnerability management technology make a powerful combination and will help you more effectively identify and mitigate risks to your organisation. Get in touch with us for a demo of how RankedRight can work with your asset management software today.