5 Reasons Why Cybersecurity Asset Management Matters

Written by Hatice Ozsahan and David Worthington on September 13, 2022

Share This Article

Cybersecurity asset management is a topic that has been widely discussed over the past few years. With the significant increase in cyber crimes, it seems that no single month goes by without hearing about another high-profile breach somewhere in the world.

The increasing frequency of these events makes it clear that organizations need to take a proactive approach to improve their security posture. Cybersecurity asset management is, therefore, a key factor for any organization serious about its cybersecurity infrastructure.

Knowing your assets means having control and visibility over what data you own. Blind spots carry the risk of being exploited by threat actors, which can be devastating even for the most reputable companies. Let’s go back to square one and paint a clear picture of what cybersecurity asset management is.

What Is Cybersecurity Asset Management?

Cyber assets can refer to programmable electronic devices and networks, including hardware, software, and data in those devices. Cybersecurity asset management is a fundamental way to optimize security controls to defend against emerging threats through continuous identification, evaluation, adoption, and retirement of valuable IT assets. An effective asset management program is fundamental to an enterprise’s cybersecurity strategy.

By continuously identifying, evaluating, and adopting new security controls that address emerging threats, enterprises can reduce the likelihood of a successful attack on their cyber environments. CSAM should cover physical and virtual systems as well as cloud-based assets such as S3 buckets.

What does effective cybersecurity asset management do? It helps you:

  • Monitor all assets’ lifecycle from new asset creation to obsolescence and disposal.
  • Keep cyber assets secure and compliant.
  • Spot unknown assets and bring them under management for their protection.
  • Regularly maintain assets to detect unauthorized changes.
  • Gain insight into your internal and external attack surface.

Why Is Cybersecurity Asset Management Important?

With a proper asset management system, you can easily undertake the following and minimize your cyber asset attack surface.

Systematic Tracking of Dispersed Cloud Assets

New cybersecurity challenges have surfaced as more and more companies migrate their workloads to the cloud. This can make visibility a challenge. Since you can’t secure what you can’t see, blind spots in your cloud environment may lead to serious blows to your company, including data breaches, data loss, and a negative brand reputation.

Therefore, effective cybersecurity asset management ensures that:

  • All cyber assets in your cloud environment are created in a managed way.
  • All assets are tracked throughout their operational lifecycle so that no rogue assets go unnoticed.
  • Unused assets are removed safely to ensure no security gaps remain open to risks.
  • Your sensitive data remains secure.
  • All cloud access configurations are properly managed in order to prevent unauthorized access.

Continuous Monitoring of SaaS Assets and Configurations

Today, it’s almost impossible to find a digital business that hasn’t implemented at least one third-party SaaS tool into their day-to-day operations.

For example, over 40% of Fortune 100 businesses pay for Slack, an all-purpose workplace communication platform. While SaaS tools make things go easier and faster, they require proactive security measures on the user side.

For instance, enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all users in a SaaS tool you use for your company is often optional and almost always overlooked. For secure workspaces, account and access-based configurations should be continuously monitored.

With effective asset management, you can get notified of SaaS misconfigurations and prevent unauthorized access. Cybersecurity asset management lets you see all the cards in your hand so that you can pull a strategic game against threat actors.

Timely Heads-up on Security Gaps

When it comes to cybersecurity, time is always of the essence. Some cyber asset management tools help you respond to incidents more quickly with automation and automation and alerting systems. These not only reduce manual effort, but they also prompt faster response times to incidents and reduce the chances of a vulnerability going overlooked.

Ability to See Your Attack Surface as an Attacker Would

To outmaneuver a malicious actor, you must clearly understand your weaknesses. In other words, you must be able to answer the question, “where am I the most vulnerable?” Most companies conduct a predictable cycle for vulnerability detection, which typically consists of the following steps: vulnerability assessment, getting a report, fixing only the critical issues. However, there are a few issues with this cycle:

  • Vulnerability assessments are typically point-in-time; they don’t account for the dynamic nature of the cloud.
  • They have a narrow scope, which can leave blind spots unnoticed and unaddressed.

On the other hand, asset management is all about knowing what you own. When you see your assets in complete view, you get a good perspective of your attack surface and a higher chance of closing security gaps in time. Cyber asset attack surface management (CAASM) solutions, for instance, provide crystal clear visibility of your entire cyber estate (including multi-cloud and SaaS) and help you prioritize threats.

Secure Disposal of End-of-Life Assets

Disposing of end of life data assets securely and responsibly is key for both security and compliance reasons. You must dispose of all end-of-life data assets to avoid long-term security costs.

Most companies don’t understand the consequences of mistreating end-of-life data, and therefore fail to fully educate their employees. When your sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, there might be no turning back or avoiding heavy financial and legal penalties.

  • Always keep an up-to-date asset inventory.
  • Regularly check end-of-life assets.
  • Educate employees about dealing with end-of-life data.
  • Comply with data regulations.

Learn About JumpCloud

JumpCloud provides customers a unified solution of SaaS, IT security, and asset management that empowers them to eliminate shadow IT and gain full visibility into all apps and cloud infrastructure in an all-in-one solution. JumpCloud’s help customers to deliver secure and streamlined user provisioning, access request management, and utilization monitoring.

Our customers tell us that asset management is also important for security and IT operations. JumpCloud is enhancing its platform to unify SaaS, IT security, and asset management transactions.

You can try JumpCloud for free to determine if it’s right for your organization.

Hatice Ozsahan
David Worthington

I'm the JumpCloud Champion for Product, Security. JumpCloud and Microsoft certified, security analyst, a one-time tech journalist, and former IT director.

Continue Learning with our Newsletter