Why basic security hygiene should include cyber asset management

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People always tell you to get your head out of the clouds. In the case of today’s rapid migration towards cloud-based, software-defined, and everything-as-a-service, it’s actually better to keep it up there.

When securing a business in today’s world, traditional IT management solutions simply cannot meet the demands of the ever-evolving modern cyber attack surface. The 2022 State of Cyber Assets Report found that cyber assets significantly outnumber employees in the enterprise by a ratio of 564:1. In fact, the average security team is responsible for over 165.6 thousand cyber assets, including policies, findings, user assets, data assets, applications, network assets, and device assets. And it’s not stopping there.

Combining the dynamic, ephemeral nature of today’s assets with extreme rises in cyber attacks leaves us with one question: how can we expect our security team to keep up?

By moving from old, outdated processes to complete cyber asset management.

What is Cyber Asset Management?

Cyber asset management describes the process of gaining full visibility into all the assets you have – and to whom and what they’re connected with.

You can’t secure what you don’t know you have - and what you have goes beyond traditional assets such as devices with IP addresses.

A modern cyber asset encompasses any digital asset that has an attack surface and requires active security management, including software-defined and ephemeral assets. The more cyber assets an organization has, the harder it becomes to understand the complete cyber asset context and the full scope or impact of an attack or breach. There’s a lot to secure, and there’s a lot of changes from day to day. That’s why it’s so important to have an accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date cyber asset inventory across your entire attack surface.

Repercussions of Incomplete Cyber Asset Management

Today, the entire lifecycle of an asset - creation, deployment, and decommissioning - can occur without human intervention or knowledge. In fact, nearly 7 in 10 organizations admit they have experienced at least one cyber attack starting through the exploit of an unknown, unmanaged, or poorly managed internet facing asset.

Traditional asset management tactics like static spreadsheets or configuration management databases (CMDB) simply cannot keep up with the dynamic nature of modern cyber assets. Insufficient cyber asset management could result in:

  • Human error: Manual processes are not only time consuming, they often require valuable time and effort of many individuals. The use of manual labor to discover all  your cyber assets could leave holes in your data, causing you to develop a false sense of security.
  • Lack of context: Determining the blast radius for an attack requires knowledge of the relationships around a vulnerable asset. By looking at your cyber assets as individual entities without understanding how they inter-operate, you are missing critical context that could otherwise help you protect your company and isolate incidents.
  • Alert fatigue and burnout: Security practitioners everywhere are suffering from burnout and alert fatigue, making it a struggle to effectively identify, triage, and remediate critical risks.

The Benefits of a Cyber Asset Management Platform

A common argument against emerging technologies is that everything will be fine as long as you consistently “do the basics” and maintain security hygiene. But, doing the basics is no longer as “basic” as you may think as cyber attacks and breaches continue to plague your organizations.

Cyber asset management is crucial to maintaining and securing your ever-expanding cyber asset universe. Let’s dive into some of the benefits:

  • Improved cyber asset hygiene and security posture management: Having a complete, always up-to-date cyber asset inventory not only helps you see your cyber asset footprint, but also helps you understand it and manage it effectively.
  • Centralized view for easy reporting: Organizations today are the product of the tools they use - multiple cloud providers, CRMs, third-party applications, open source libraries, and more. It’s simply not realistic to pull important metrics and evaluate security health one tool at a time. Cyber asset management platforms can provide you with a centralized, consolidated view of what you have, how it’s functioning, and more.
  • Relationship context: Attackers are notorious for their ability to exploit a weak asset and follow the chain of connections towards critical assets. Understanding the relationships between your assets adds important contextual intelligence that allows you to get ahead of the attacker and secure your assets from every angle.
  • Accelerated detection and response: A centralized, relationship-driven cyber asset management platform will empower your security operations team to quickly triage alerts, determine a potential blast radius, and fast-track a response plan.
  • Continuous compliance monitoring: No matter your compliance framework, a good cyber asset management platform will continuously monitor your environment for compliance drift and send automated alerts to the right team at the right time to course-correct and close any gaps.

Manage Your Cyber Assets with JupiterOne

Without a way to manage digital transformation and the explosion of cloud resources, your team is left with limited visibility, inability to scale, mounting uncertainties about your environment, and a higher likelihood of experiencing a breach.

JupiterOne provides comprehensive cyber asset management that continuously monitors your dynamic environment. Integrate with your existing technology stack to get one single view of your threat landscape. The more integrations you have, the more you understand about your cyber asset universe, and the more questions you can ask of your security posture.

Get centralized, normalized, and impactful information about your cyber asset universe and reduce your cyber attack surface without having to manually sift through hundreds of thousands of data points.

Be proactive about your security. Get started for free or book a demo today.

Tanvi Tapadia
Tanvi Tapadia

Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Tanvi is a marketer who strives to create the perfect balance between data-driven decisions and creative marketing. She is an NC State graduate who loves to explore, eat, and play with her dog Butter.

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