Cyber asset management plays a vital role in maintaining a secure and resilient digital infrastructure. However, it comes with its fair share of challenges. In this article, we will explore the three most significant obstacles faced by organizations in cyber asset management and discuss effective strategies to overcome them.
1. Lack of visibility and comprehensive inventory
One of the foremost cyber asset management challenges is the lack of visibility and a comprehensive inventory of assets across the organization's digital landscape. With the rapid expansion of networks, cloud services, and endpoints, keeping track of every asset becomes increasingly complex. This challenge is further magnified in dynamic and decentralized environments.
To tackle this challenge, organizations should invest in an automated discovery and inventory system. Such a system utilizes advanced scanning techniques to identify and catalog assets, including hardware, software, virtual machines, cloud instances, and IoT devices. By regularly scanning and updating the inventory, organizations can maintain an accurate and up-to-date view of their assets, enabling better security and risk management.
2. Inadequate asset classification and risk prioritization
Effective cyber asset management requires a clear understanding of asset classification and risk prioritization. Without a proper categorization framework, organizations struggle to prioritize critical assets and allocate resources efficiently. This leads to potential security gaps and misaligned security measures.
Organizations should develop an asset classification framework tailored to their specific needs. This framework should consider factors such as asset type, criticality, sensitivity, and potential impact on business operations. By categorizing assets based on these parameters, organizations can prioritize their efforts and allocate resources effectively. This enables the implementation of targeted security controls, reducing the overall risk exposure.
The 2023 State of Cyber Assets Report looks at organizations’ cyber assets and categorizes them using the framework posed by Sounil Yu in his Cyber Defense Matrix. This is one example of asset categorization enterprises can use to make sense of their cyber asset landscape.
3. Siloed and inefficient workflows
In many organizations, cyber asset management is hampered by siloed and inefficient workflows. Disconnected teams, disparate tools, and manual processes hinder collaboration, information sharing, and timely decision-making. This results in delayed responses to security incidents and a fragmented approach to asset management.
To overcome this challenge, organizations should focus on integrating and automating asset management workflows. By implementing a centralized platform that connects different teams, tools, and processes, organizations can streamline asset management activities. This facilitates collaboration, enables real-time information sharing, and improves the overall efficiency of the asset management process. Automation further reduces manual effort, enhances accuracy, and enables proactive monitoring of assets for potential threats or vulnerabilities.
Building cyber resilience through effective cyber asset management
Effective cyber asset management is crucial for organizations to maintain a secure and resilient digital infrastructure. By addressing the challenges of visibility and comprehensive inventory, inadequate asset classification, and risk prioritization, as well as siloed and inefficient workflows, organizations can enhance their asset management capabilities.
Implementing automated discovery and inventory systems, developing asset classification frameworks, and integrating and automating workflows will contribute to a more robust and efficient practice. By proactively tackling these challenges, organizations can strengthen their cyber resilience and effectively protect their valuable digital assets.